Tag Archives: Gin

A Visit To The Shed Distillery, Drumshanbo

Herself had booked a 2 night stay in the fabulous new Drumhierny Woodland Hideaway lodges – only a short trip down the road from Drumshanbo.

Meeting friends in the lovely Jackalope Café of the distillery itself for a tasty meal I suggested a tour would be in order & a couple of us tagged along on the last one of the day.

An introductory video led us through the Curious Mind of PJ Rigney – leading onto an explanation of not only whiskey production – but gin & vodka too – The Shed Distillery do all.

No photos are allowed on the tour – but we did see the magnificent copper pot stills that make all the lovely spirit – separate stills for each category – with the attendant malty aromas too!

In the well presented tasting rooms we were led through our 1st sample – the delightful Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey with it’s creamy mouthfeel from the Barra Oats used in the mash-bill.

Interestingly on display were additional grains – including rye – as well as barrel staves – I spotted acacia wood – pointing to exciting future developments from The Shed Distillery.

A gin lab – full of exciting spices & botanicals – complete with replica Sausage Tree for the vodka – rounded off the highly informative & immersive tour before being led to the Honey Badger Bar for a complimentary drink.

A number of choices are available – my curious mind opted for the Sausage Tree Vodka. I can’t say vodka is my usual tipple – but there was some additional depth to the flavour of this extremely well presented offering.

Suitably sated – I had my eyes on the main event – the 2021 Galánta Single Malt release.

Introduced as a limited edition annual release Galánta is delivered non chill filtered, natural colour & 46%

Gentle warming vanilla & caramel offering clean & clear aromas on the nose. Easy gentle mouthfeel develops fuller, richer flavours as it slowly warms the palate. Finishes with a slight prickliness fading away slowly.

A very elegant & softly stated single malt.

Meanwhile an Express The Curiosity cocktail – from an exciting menu – presented with flair & panache was thoroughly enjoyed by my touring partner.

The Shed Distillery excels all round.

Set in the gorgeous Leitrim countryside – we later walked the Shannon Blueway, indulged ourselves at Beirne’s Bar in Battle Bridge & enjoyed the Gunpowder Gin, Sausage Tree Vodka & Drumshanbo Whiskey all made at The Shed Distillery.

Isn’t it about time you visited?

Sláinte

The Shed Distillery website here.

Drumhierny Woodland Hideaway website here.

Shannon Blueway website here.

Beirne’s Inn website here.

Moore’s Irish Whiskey, 40% & Moore’s Irish Cream Liqueur, 17%

The growing sales & popularity of Irish Whiskey continues to attract new entrants into the category.

Lockdown Brands – you can guess when they were formed – recently released their Moore’s range of spirits.

Moore’s miniatures c/othewhiskeynut

Launched without fanfare or fuss – I picked a miniature pack up in the excellent Celtic Whiskey Shop on my sojourn to Wetherspoons new Keavin’s Port Hotel in Dublin.

Moore’s Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Moore’s Irish Whiskey sports a proud stag on the label – with little else over and above the legal requirements.

There’s a sweet sherried depth to the nose, the usual caramel flavours & a bit of a spirity kick.

Smooth, honeyed & mouth coating, the palate gently hugs in an warming embrace.

An engaging dry tingling fades slowly away on the finish.

With ever more esoteric cask finishes & proclamations of provenance – the stripped back simplicity & no nonsense approach of Moore’s is refreshing.

Moore’s Cream Liqueur c/othewhiskeynut

Mariah Carey dominates social media with her Black Irish liqueur – but Moore’s Irish Cream Liqueur faces no legal dispute – as far as I know – and is currently available to purchase in Ireland.

Rather than sporting a golden mermaid look, Moore’s is adorned with a humble grazing cow – the source of the Irish cream used.

In the glass Moore’s Irish Cream Liqueur has the appearance & consistency of rich full-fat milk about it.

Only on nosing & tasting does a whisper of whiskey make it’s presence felt over the rich creaminess & melted milk chocolate experience.

An Irish Wolfhound graces Moore’s Irish Gin – but never having acquired an appreciation of this juniper led category – I’ll leave it to others for appraisal.

Overall I’m somewhat attracted to the laid back & simple approach offered by Moore’s.

There’s a traditional appeal to the honeyed blend style of whiskey.

The brand also puts Co Laois on the spirits map.

Best wishes to Moore Drinks & Lockdown Brands in their new venture.

Mourne DEW Miniature Pack, 40% to 43%.

When a particular distillery’s output wins 2 blind tasting sessions – you take notice.

Both Mourne DEW’s Blend and Single Malt stood out for me,

Tasty trio c/othewhiskeynut

So I purchased their miniature set to try them out side by side.

The Kilbroney Gin went down well with my better half,

Kilbroney c/othewhiskeynut

Allowing me to concentrate on the others!

Pooka Poitín, 43%

Pooka c/othewhiskeynut

The colour immediately intrigued me. A pale straw hue – similar to the whiskeys – obviously a bit of barrel ageing going on – 10 weeks is allowed.

An entertaining floral note greeted me – with a hint of woody smoke. Oily smooth mouthfeel with enticing flavours. A touch of nuttiness on the finish topped off with a pleasing drying prickleness.

A rather unique poitín offering – very happy with this one!

Mourne DEW Blend, 40%

Blend c/othewhiskeynut

Like encountering an old friend!

A clean & fresh nose, smooth honeyed palate drying out towards the finish leaving with a tingling spiciness.

A characterful little number!

Mourne DEW Single Malt, 43%

Single Malt c/othewhiskeyut

Just a word on the colour – of the 3 – it appears the palest!

Clearly no caramel here & a relatively young malt – which works well for a peater – as the nose brings me back to sitting by an open turf fire!

What can I say about this one?

A delightfully young & vibrant peater – loved it!

Thoughts

For a small distillery nestled on the pretty banks of Carlingford Lough in Warrenpoint – Mourne DEW are releasing a flavourful range of spirits to charm & entertain.

Happy drinking! c/othewhiskeynut

The Essence Of Mourne – works wonders for me!

Sláinte

A Pair of Liverpool’s, 12 Year Old, Single Malt Whisky, 46%, 16 Year Old, Single Cask Rum, 43%

There is a Gin Distillery in Liverpool – but as far as I know no whisky or rum is made there.

This pair of plainly – yet strikingly bold – labelled bottles would therefore be sourced spirits for the Liverpool brand who are in turn part of Halewood International.

The simple design appealed to me – along with the high age statements – so a couple of miniatures were ordered – via Just Miniatures.

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12yo Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut

Liverpool Whisky, 12 Year Old, Small Batch, Single Malt, 46%

The whisky is light brown in colour with viscous legs.

A honeyed nose redolent of sweet summer fruits greeted me.

Soft, easy & inviting.

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Back label c/othewhiskeynut

Quite a spirity little number – but possessing a decent depth of flavour & a lovely prickly spice on the finish.

A very nice single malt indeed.

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16yo rum c/othewhiskeynut

Liverpool Rum, 16 Year Old, Small Batch, Single Cask, 43%

A deep golden brown – also with viscous legs.

Sweet caramelly nose with a hint of funk peeking through.

The palate was gentle & smooth. Layers of dark demerara coated the mouth before a growing oaky woodiness added drying tannic spice on the finish.

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Back rum c/othewhiskeynut

These are both fine spirits.

You may not know who or where they were distilled – but they are certainly enjoyable to encounter!

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A pair of Liverpools c/othewhiskeynut

Sláinte

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Old Hopking, Premium White Rum, 37.5%

After having a run of underrated bargain basement beauties with Lidl’s Liberté Rum & Dunnes’ JG Kinsey Whisky – I suppose a disappointment was inevitable.

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Old Hopking White Rum c/othewhiskeynut

Aldi’s Old Hopking White Rum is presented with a rather plain white label that gives little away.

‘Bottled In Germany’ it says. A common practice using ‘Imported Rum’ from undisclosed sources. Where the sugarcane or molasses came from is not stated – nor method of distillation. At this price point  – that information is a bonus.

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‘Perfect for mixing’ c/othewhiskeynut

So onto a taster.

Oh dear!

A perfumed floral aroma greeted me.

More reminiscent of my wife’s gin rather than a rum!

This followed through in the palate – which was smooth & mellow – with a mild heat to keep it real – but otherwise no defining character.

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‘Imported Rum’ c/othewhiskeynut

Old Hopking is a simple easy sipper – but I wasn’t expecting a rose garden in my rum!

Sláinte

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Luigi Francoli, Grappa Di Muscato E Brachetto, Barrique, 41.5%

It’s great to see the independent drinks specialist Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) launch a course in Ireland courtesy of Spirits Training.

When I completed my Spirits Level 2 module a while ago I visited the UK to sit the exam.

It shows a growing appreciation of and increasing demand for the spirits sector in Ireland.

My extra curricular training in Manchester proved to be very entertaining nonetheless! Visit my blog here.

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WSET Spirits L2 c/othewhiskeynut

The Spirits Level 2 course doesn’t just cover whiskey – all distilled spirit categories including Gin, Vodka, Brandy, Mezcal & more are explored.

Many I’d little knowledge of – let alone tasted – which is an integral part of training.

I grew to understand each sector has it’s own rules & regulations, history & customs,  as well as creative interpretations & representations of those traditions across the world.

At the end of the day however – it all came down to which spirits excited my palate.

One I’d never encountered before was Grappa.

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Long tall Luigi c/othewhiskeynut

Grappa – by definition – is an Italian based spirit distilled from grapes – the leftovers that is from wine production – or pomace as it’s known – and tends to be made by small producers.

The only grappa I could easily find in Ireland was by Luigi Francoli in my local O’Brien’s store.

Presented in an attractive bottle at 41.5%,  it stated the grape varietals used – Muscato e Brachetto – as well as ‘Barrique’ aged – in contrast to the usual unaged Grappa’s.

Oh – the distillery was founded in 1875.

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Italian Grappa c/othewhiskeynut

The grape influence was evident – but not in a sweet way – which usually puts me off – more of a nutty, earthy kind of experience.

A lovely soft mouthfeel grew in depth adding fruitiness & more of that nuttiness too – before finishing with a gentle spiciness to add character.

I’d happily enjoy one or two of these after a meal – which is the custom – and possibly explore other offerings as well.

If anything the WSET Spirits course has expanded both my knowledge of the spirits world & introduced my palate to a greater repertoire of tasting experiences.

Isn’t it about time you did the course?

Sláinte

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A Whiskey Flight From Clonakilty Distillery

I recently had the pleasure of revisiting Clonakilty Distillery.

Unlike the building site of my previous visit – Feb 2018 blog here – this time the gleaming copper pot stills were in full working order & the rich smells of distillation were ever present during the highly informative & enjoyable tour.

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Before, after at top. c/othewhiskeynut

Clonakilty Minke Gin is already available – but it will be a while for their own whiskey to mature.

In the meantime a varied range of sourced whiskeys – with added maturation & finishing at Clonakilty Distillery’s own warehouses on the Wild Atlantic Way – are available at the distillery shop.

I bought a couple of miniatures – part of their core range – as well as taking away some extra samples – I was driving – to enjoy later.

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Single Grain green, Single Batch blue. c/othewhiskeynut

Clonakilty, Single Grain, Bordeaux Cask, 43.6%

A clean, sweet & delicate fruity little number that lulls you in with gentle flavours before delivering a healthy spirity kick by way of entertainment leaving a soft fruit finish on the rear.

Nice

Clonakilty, Small Batch, Double Oak, 43.6%

Warming, more malt biscuity. There’s a fruity sweetness from the recharred ex-wine casks which give this blend a juiciness followed with a dry prickly spice from the virgin oak casks too.

Very engaging.

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Cognac Cask c/othewhiskeynut

Clonakilty, Cognac Cask, 43,6%

A limited edition at the distillery.

Rich warm dark fruits with a touch of nuttiness to boot. Dries out towards the finish with a pleasant spiciness.

Very enjoyable.

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Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut

Clonakilty, Single Malt, Single Cask, Distillery Exclusive, 43.6%

If you ever need an excuse to visit a distillery – the chance to sample an exclusive bottling is always a bonus.

Warming vanilla enticed me in. A gentle rich maltiness tinged with dry tannic spice caressed my palate. A wonderfully balanced & elegant bourbon cask matured malt.

Class.

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Clonakilty tasting flight c/othewhiskeynut

Clonakilty, Single Pot Still New Make, unknown ABV.

A rare treat indeed!

Using the traditional – as in malted & unmalted barley only mash bill – that signature oily & slightly sour new make nose was evident. A clean & fresh feel was enjoyed before the high ABV kicked in leaving a prickly heat with a touch of spice on the finish.

A well crafted spirit for the wood to work it’s magic on.

Interestingly this new make has already won awards.

All bodes well for Clonakilty Distillery.

The stunning signature building, the lovely cafe, the enjoyable tour and the increasing use of barley from their own farm in future distillations yet to come.

Isn’t it about time you called round?

Sláinte

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