Given a number of releases from new distilleries – possibly due to commercial demand – were to my tastes at least offered a tad fresh – Batch 1 displayed a richness of flavour & welcome complexity in the emerging distillery category.
Presented at 47% the nose was initially a touch spirity but a lovely rich bourbony warmth of sweet vanillas & a touch of nuttiness captured me.
A silky mouth coating feel on the palate further opened up those gorgeous notes.
An entertaining bite on the finish furnished with a dry nutty prickliness – a combination of the high ABV & Oloroso finishing no doubt – danced merrily away.
An impressive debut from the Ballina based distillery.
Suitably impressed by the presentation – I wasted no time in cracking it open.
The nose displays a joyfully youthful & fresh grain combined with softly sweet malts giving a lovely warmth & gentle spice.
The smooth delivery lulled me in before a gently drying spiciness laden with dark cherries gave added character & depth to the proceedings.
A suitably long finish had an unexpected fruity juiciness appearing at the end just as that gorgeous dryness I enjoy slowly faded.
The contents complimented the tales of Grace O’Malley’s exploits with a characterful mouthfeel, lovely depth of flavour and good complexity too.
The price point is a bit on the high side for a blend – even allowing for the wonderful presentation and mature malt content- but I’m pleased to read the owners will be releasing more attractively costed bottles too here.
Grace O’Malley Whiskey is one of the first third party releases using spirit sourced from the Great Northern Distillery – I look forward to many more.
I wish all connected with the brand a safe journey as they set sail into the brave new world of Irish Whiskey.
There are various interpretations of ballyhoo on the web, publicity, frivolity or fun. They can all be distilled to one attractive package for me however.
An Irish Whiskey released by the Connacht Whiskey Company of Ballina, County Mayo. There isn’t much information on the very attractive black bottle with distinctive embossed silver labelling – but a trip to their website here reveals a bit more.
A single grain Irish Whiskey made with a 93% corn 7% malted barley mix distilled in a Coffey still at one un-named Irish whiskey distillery. Connacht haven’t been around long enough to release their own whiskey – yet – so this sourced grain is made elsewhere & finished in port casks at Connacht’s own facility.
Grain whiskey doesn’t have the allure of it’s stablemate malt – which is a pity. Grain is the very backbone of the modern whiskey industry. Up to 90% of all whiskey sold worldwide contains grain as part of the mix in blended whiskey. Showcasing the best grain whiskey has to offer is always welcome in my book.
Pouring a glass it quickly becomes apparent this is an extremely pale whiskey. A decent amount of legs are also present. Both signifiers that no added caramel nor chill filtration have been used in this expression. Very commendable.
At only 4 years old this is a young, fresh grain whiskey.
The nose is gentle & sweetly attractive. Soft vanillas combine with an enticing floral bouquet which probably emanates from the rather unusual – and possibly unique for a grain whiskey – port cask finish.
It’s very mild in the mouth. No rough edges here. A bit of corn influence, that sweet grainy lightness builds with deeper notes from the combined bourbon barrel maturation & port cask finish in a perfectly balanced mix.
There is no complexity here. A very easy, simple, smooth & eminently attractive grain whiskey that slowly fades to a pleasingly warm finish.
Whiskey as it should be.
Fun, frivolous, tasty, naturally coloured & non chill filtered.
It certainly floats my boat.
An album by Echo & The Bunnymen. Their song Bedbugs & Ballyhoo is the perfect accompaniment to this delightful grain whiskey.
The immense bulk of Mount Gable looms over the picturesque town of Clonbur as you approach from the East. It’s a popular destination for the fishing fraternity due to being sandwiched by Lough Mask to the North and the mighty Lough Corrib to the South.
Straddling the Galway/Mayo border Clonbur also provides easy access to a range of stunning mountain scenery including the Maumturks, The Twelve Bens, Maumtransa and the Partry/Joyce Mountains – which conveniently leads me to the musical interlude provided by local lads The Saw Doctors.
Having just got down from scaling one of the minor Joyce hills to stretch my legs and enjoy the views – I was in need of some sustenance. I knew Eddie’s sported some whiskey from a previous visit I’d made but now I had the opportunity to actually enjoy one!
Suitably seated at the bar I ordered up a hot toasted ham sandwich. My choice of whiskey was a bit more difficult to make with a bewildering array of over 170 bottles on offer. Luckily a whiskey menu was at hand.
I eventually settled on an Islay release from the Bunnahabhain distillery seeing as I was in a gealtacht area.
Originally destined for the travel retail market – the Durach Ur bottling is a 46.2% non-chill filtered – non age statement single malt. Unlike some of it’s near neighbours – Durach Ur is a lighly peated well balanced whisky with a full bodied malty taste oozing flavour. Just the right pick-me-up after my sorte out in the rather cold and windy spring weather.
The bar shelves groaned with an impressive display of whiskeys. Irish releases were well represented but Scottish expressions seemed to match – if not outnumber – the local varieties. A few token bourbons and a lone Japanese brought up the remainder.
Whiskey tasting platters can be arranged and there is plenty of memorabilia scattered throughout the welcoming bar. An outside seating area catches the sun – when it shines – and is where I enjoyed a hearty al fresco meal on my previous visit watching the comings and goings of this popular little spot.
Eddie’s Bar together with the adjoining Fairhill House Hotel have won awards for their tasty meals so there should be no surprise in finding an empty tourbus or two clogging up the carpark whilst their passengers enjoy the refreshments inside.
I’m certainly planning my next hill-walking adventure as an excuse to call in on Eddie’s again for yet another lovely dram and tasty snack.