Tag Archives: Ireland

The Irish Paradox, Sean Moncrieff

I wasn’t expecting there to be a chapter on the use of alcohol in Ireland.

But ‘Myopia Of Pints’ does encapsulate the codified rules around having the craic, buying rounds & social cohesion.

I did have a glass or two while reading – but never got notions above my station.

Sláinte

Zingibeer, Ginger Beer, 4%

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a ginger beer – especially an alcoholic one – so spotting this Dublin brewed offering had me hooked.

Very pale in colour – the label boasts natural ingredients & botanicals.

That ginger tang is evident on the nose.

Quite light & very refreshing on the palate. The ginger is more muted & balanced providing a pleasant spicy zing.

Makes for an entertaining alternative & attractive summer drinking experience.

Sláinte

Martell VS, Cognac, 40%

Martell Cognac is available in virtually every Irish supermarket.

Not too surprising – Pernod Ricard own the brand.

I picked up this miniature to give it a whirl.

The nose was quite expressive, rich, warm & inviting with a touch of nuttiness.

The nuttiness followed through on the palate which was pleasingly smooth yet offered some depth & fruity complexity.

A welcome soft tannic spice livened up the finish.

Before the phylloxera bug nearly destroyed the vineyards of the late 1800’s Cognac was the spirit of choice.

I can see why after enjoying the flavoursome delights of this Martell VS.

Worth trying.

All images authors own.

Concannon Irish Whiskey, Blend, 40%

You’d be forgiven for never hearing of Concannon Irish Whiskey before if you live in Ireland – as it’s mainly sold in the USA!

Concannon is a popular seller over the pond making it into the Top 10 of the biggest brands – appearing above Powers & Black Bush – so when an opportunity arose to purchase a miniature from the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder’s new sample service – Drams Delivered – my curiosity was piqued.

Interestingly this whiskey is finished in Petite Sirah casks from the Concannon Vineyard in California – which might partly explain it’s impressive sales!

The colour was reassuringly pale for a wine cask finish.

Sweet, fruity & honeyed on the nose. Gently inviting.

Quite a light palate with an attractive freshness.

Juicy sweet grain appears before a pleasing fruitiness topped off with a touch of prickliness gently fades away.

A very pleasant easy drinker with enough depth of flavour to keep it entertaining.

Nice!

Sláinte

Concannon Vineyard website here.

Irish Whiskey Sales in America 2020 here.

Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol in Ireland

MUP – Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol became a ‘thing’ in Ireland on 4th January 2022.

Pegged at 10 cent per gram of alcohol it has effectively wiped out the sub €20 bottle of spirits I enjoyed reviewing.

Lidl & Aldi before MUP

Photographing the shelves of Lidl & Aldi beforehand – all stores have to comply – displays a range going from €14.49 for Samuel Joe’s & Western Gold Bourbon to €20 for Bushmills & Jameson Original.

Lidl & Aldi after MUP

Afterwards all these offerings are at the new minimum price of €22.09.

How the market for those previously sub €20 brands will fare out is hard to predict – I did however purchase a few before the price increase – as is the impact of MUP pricing in reducing the harmful effects of excess alcohol on Irish society.

One thing’s for certain though – The Time’s They Are A Changin’ 🎶

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Dead Centre, Vivid Trinity, 9.5%

Imperial Stout Aged in ex-rum barrels.

Vivid Trinity c/othewhiskeynut

Rich, sweet dark molasses with a touch of coffee.

Slips down too easily for such a monster of a beer.

9.5% c/othewhiskeynut

Four months in rum barrels has added so much enjoyable flavour to the mix.

Yum yum rum! c/othewhiskeynut

Yet more delights from Dead Centre Brewing!

Sláinte

I Enjoy Drinking Whiskey

Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic spirit found all over the world.

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

Whether spelled with or without the ‘e’.

Art Of The Blend #4 c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

Different countries have a diversity & variety of rules as to what constitutes whiskey.

Royal Stag c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

The exploration of flavours brought about by the use of raw ingredients – barley, oats, rye & maize – even molasses, rice & sorghum in some places.

Shenk’s Homestead c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

Single malt, single grain, single pot still, blended, single, double, triple distilled or more.

JJ Corry at McHugh’s c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

A whiskey produced in one country may not be legally sold as such in another.

Brazilian whisky in an Irish glass. c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

The original whiskey was unaged, poitín, aqua-vitae, moonshine, uisce beatha & white dog.

White Dog c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

A whiskey bought in the local Spar in Lagos – which I can afford – excites me as much as one accompanied with a Fabergé egg in Ireland – which I cannot.

Fly like an Eagle! c/othewhiskeynut

I enjoy drinking whiskey.

What kind of whiskey do you enjoy?

Sláinte

Pressing on the highlighted links will guide you to my reviews of the whiskeys.

Luzhou Laojiao Zisha Daqu, Baijiu, 52%

Well the whole presentation is a bit of a performance!

Delightful packaging c/othewhiskeynut

Red cloth wrapped around a clay pot!

At 52% – this baijiu is a bit of a performance too.

‘Strong Aroma’ it says on the box – & it does exactly as stated – in a very pleasing way.

Strong Aroma c/othewhiskeynut

An enticing savoury, meaty umami type of thing going on.

The high ABV pack a punch – but doesn’t over power.

The EU/China trade agreement has opened the door for Irish Whiskey exports to China – as well as Baijiu imports to Ireland.

I’m certainly enjoying exploring the fruits of that deal!

Ganbei

I purchased my Baijiu from Asia Market, Dublin.

Tequila Reserva 1800 Silver, 40%

Tequila appears to be the new ‘in thing’ with rising sales across the world.

Moving beyond the salt-lemon-tequila shot of yore are more upmarket brands made using 100% agave that can be appreciated neat for the pleasing flavours within.

Tequila in a Tuath c/othewhiskeynut

1800 Tequila is one of those brands.

Available in supermarkets across the UK & more specialist outlets in Ireland – 1800 is presented in an attractively designed bottle that catches the eye.

The contents pleased my palate too!

Tequila miniature c/othewhiskeynut

This Silver variety – unaged tequila – exhibits a rich earthy & vegetal agave nose coupled with a luxurious mouthfeel topped off with those signature cracked pepper spices on the finish.

1800 is a classy tequila.

Isn’t it about time you explored tequila?

Arriba, abejo, al centro, pa’dentro!