Copeland Distillery are one of a growing collection of new Irish Whiskey Distilleries making inroads to market.
Despite having laid down their own stocks – they have yet to mature – Copeland have taken the route of releasing a sourced blend to build awareness of the brand, gain valuable practice & knowledge regarding marketing, packaging, blending as well as cultivating relationships.
I think it’s a commendable exercise – especially when I get the opportunity to try out a sample bottle!
The presentation is very attractive.
The story plays up the rich maritime history of Copeland Distillery’s home town of Donaghadee in Northern Ireland – which I’m immediately drawn to having been a seafarer in the past.
But it all comes down to the liquid – so a sample was poured.
The nose is rich & inviting. A satisfying display of depth coupled with an attractive bite & hints of wood.
Silky & smooth on the palate. Waves of flavour ebb & flow on a gentle tide.
A delightful spiciness opens up on the finish with succulent fruit juiciness fading to a dry tingling.
Despite the early controversy over labelling – their whiskey has always rated highly with me winning 2 blind tasting categories in the 2017 Irish Whiskey Awards judging sessions I attended.
Perhaps it’s #allaboutthewood – as their slogan goes.
Or could it be the non chill filtration & no added caramel?
The ‘no added caramel’ isn’t actually stated on the labels – but a perusal of whisky.de – where it’s a requirement to say if caramel is added- reveals none.
Whatever the reasons – my palate enjoys Hyde Whiskey & an opportunity to sample 6 of their current range is a delight.
Many thanks to Hyde Whiskey for providing the samples. My thoughts – as always – are my own.
Rather than going by release numbers or dates – all Hyde Whiskey carry significant years in Douglas Hyde’s history as well as release numbers – I’m following perceived wisdom in tasting Blends, Single Grain & Single Malt.
All are presented at a pleasing 46%.
No 6, 1938, President’s Reserve, Sherry Cask Finish
Honeyed vanilla, smooth & easy, clean finish with lovely prickliness.
Having given this top rating in the 2017 blind judging it was great to encounter this one again. It didn’t disappoint.
No 8, 1640, Heritage Cask, Stout Cask Finish
Crisp & clean, lovely mouth coating, flavours develop on a long finish.
A recent newcomer to the range entering the exciting beer cask finished craze. I found it a very engaging offering.
No 3, 1916, The Áras Cask, Single Grain
Rich vanillas, lightness yet full on flavour, classic ex-bourbon cask notes.
I’ve always found this one an attractive whiskey. Love the simplicity & cleanliness of the ex-bourbon maturation which 1916 has in spades.
No 5, 1860, The Áras Cask, Burgundy Cask Finish
Dark fruits, easy sweet mellowness, almost like fruit pastels on the finish.
I do find wine finished whiskey a tad too sweet for my palate – but they’re a winner for others. This is a good example.
No 7, 1893, President’s Cask, Sherry Cask Matured
Rich sweet fruitiness, silky mouthfeel, notes of sweet plums.
Originally released as a 10 year old, now non age statemented, the sweet tooth flavours still come through very well.
No 4, 1922, President’s Cask, Rum Cask Finish
Dark fruitiness, heavier appeal, rich juiciness, touch of spice.
Despite being sweet, the rum finish added depth & body which suited my palate. Very nice!
Trying to choose a favourite among this excellent selection is really down to personal preference with such fine whiskeys.
To narrow it down my winners for each category were;
1938 for the blends,
1916 for single grain &
1922 for single malt.
These whiskey are all winners in my book – but for overall appeal, lovely engaging flavours & attractive bite on the finish – I’m giving top spot to 1938!
Púca in Irish mythology are mischievous spirits that appear in a variety of disguises – often horses – & can shape shift to confuse their quarry.
Whiskey is also a bit of a shape shifter.
Starting off as raw grains – barley & corn in this instance – grown in fields. Adding water & yeast, brewing, distilling & maturing. The solid grains are transformed into an aromatic brown alcoholic liquid.
The aromas emanating from Púca Irish Whiskey were particularly attractive.
Reflecting both the raw ingredients – a fresh sweet lightness from the corn – plus the cask influence – a lovely rich rummy nose full of dark caramels from the ex-rum & stout barrels used.
The palate is silky smooth with a wholesome mouthfeel. A touch of spice breaking through. The peppery spice slowly grows in strength giving a gorgeously prickly experience to the long lasting finish.
A lively & characterful blend!
There’s another similarity with the elusive púca spirits.
Despite being available in Aldi for the excellent price of €25 – Púca Irish Whiskey didn’t appear on the date advertised. By the time I was informed they’d arrived – none were left on the shelves!
Luckily a sample swap was procured!
If you’re after Púca Irish Whiskey you’d better be quick – it’s a joyous encounter when you do!