Tag Archives: Natural Colour

Lough Ree, The Bridge Series, St Mel’s No 1, Single Cask, Single Malt, 43%

The Bridge is an apt name for this series of limited release whiskey from the yet to be built Lough Ree Distillery.

St Mel’s No 1 c/othewhiskeynut

Not only does it bridge the gap for their own whiskey to mature, it also takes you on a journey of discovery.

Lough Ree are also on a journey by bridging links with local craft brewery St Mel’s for the Brown Ale casks used to finish this ex-bourbon cask matured single malt.

Back label story c/othewhiskeynut

A welcoming rich, warm & inviting nose of toffee & butterscotch pulls you in.

Silky smooth on the palate, St Mel’s has a luxurious mouthfeel with characterful depth & complexity.

A gorgeous gently drying spiciness wraps up this delightful whiskey.

The Bridge whiskey series tend to sell out – so grab one while you can.

This St Mel’s release took me on a particularly enjoyable journey.

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Two Tastings of Two Stacks, The First Cut, Blend, 43%

My first encounter with Two Stacks was in a blind tasting.

Devoid of any prior knowledge my brief assessment of this ‘Complex Blend’ was as follows;

Complex Blend c/othewhiskeynut

Neutral on the nose, soft & subtle.

Not giving much away on the palate, mellow easy drinking.

Nice flavours on the finish, intriguing.

I was surprised to find out it was Two Stacks, The First Cut. Mainly as I’d heard the blend contained a peated element – which I’d failed to detect.

My second encounter with Two Stacks was from an actual bottle.

On the back label is the blending mix & yes – peat does feature, but at only 2% – it clearly wasn’t enough to grab my palate.

Back label info c/othewhiskeynut

Having all the information & a longer time to engage with the whiskey did slightly alter the experience.

A mere hint of smoke just pushed through on the nose – although the mild mellow softness still dominated.

The finish left me with a dry tingling – often a reaction I get from peated whiskey. At only 2% however it was a gentle suggestion & I’d probably be happier with a 20% hit.

Two Stacks in a Tuath c/othewhiskeynut

Interestingly another drinker had a heightened reaction against the peat – even at such a low concentration it was still overpowering.

Others I know detect sulphur from sherry casks in small amounts too.

My palate seems to be the opposite in that I need bigger percentages & bolder flavours to grab my attention.

As it is, The First Cut is a well put together blend.

Nice easy drinking – & while the peated element does add some character – it’s just not enough to excite my palate.

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Copeland Merchants Quay, Blended Irish Whiskey, 40%

Copeland Distillery are one of a growing collection of new Irish Whiskey Distilleries making inroads to market.

Copeland Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

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!

Story time c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Copeland in a Tuath c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Info c/othewhiskeynut

A very engaging & entertaining little number.

I wish Copeland Distillery much future success.

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The sample bottle was kindly supplied by Copeland.

All views – as always – are my own.

High Coast Hav vs High Coast Timmer, Single Malts, 48%

My first encounter with High Coast – or Box as they were originally known – happened to be in Gothenburg Airport.

Delightful Dálvve c/othewhiskeynut

A gorgeous smokey malt indeed.

Now rebranded as High Coast – would this duo from The Origins Series deliver?

Hav c/oHighCoast

Hav, 48%

Gentle clean smoke.

Lovely mouthfeel – like sitting beside a warm open fire – followed by a gorgeously tingling spicy dry finish which just excites my palate.

Simply divine.

Timmer c/oHighCoast

Timmer, 48%

More of a mossy kind of smokiness.

There’s a depth & complexity to the mouthfeel before a delightful explosion of smoke embraces you like a long lost friend.

Hygge in a bottle.

Fabulous c/othewhiskeynut

High Coast supply a whole heap of information via their website – but information alone is no substitute for an enjoyable tasting.

This pair of Swedish Malts are simply fabulous.

Hyde Whiskey Selection x 6, Blends, Single Grain & Single Malt, 46%.

I’ve got to hand it to Hyde Whiskey.

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.

Tasty line-up! c/othewhiskeynut

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%.

Blends

1938 c/othewhiskeynut

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.

1640 c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Single Grain

1916 c/othewhiskeynut

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.

1860 c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Single Malt

1893 c/othewhiskeynut

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.

1922 c/othewhiskeynut

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!

Thoughts

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!

What is your preference?

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A Charred Cask & 3 Stout Cask Whiskey, 40% to 46%

Continuing my exploration of the fantastically affordable Dundalgan range from Lidl is their Charred Cask Blend.

Lidl Ireland whiskey choices 2020 c/othewhiskeynut

I also happened to have Jameson’s Stout Cask Blend – so thought a comparison with Dundalgan’s Stout & what was left of Teeling’s Stout would make a lovely quartet to compare & contrast.

Not being a blind tasting does somewhat colour the experience – but this is what I found.

Dundalgan Charred Cask c/othewhiskeynut

Dundalgan Charred Cask, Blend, 40%

Such an expressive nose!

Those rich vanillas & caramels I expect from a decent bourbon cask matured whiskey were clearly evident.

Fairly mild & mellow on the palate – the vanillas giving a touch of grainy sweetness – before a hearty prickliness is experienced on the rear.

This charred cask is better than I remember it!

New vs Old c/othewhiskeynut

Perhaps it’s not only the label that’s had an update?

Jameson Stout c/othewhiskeynut

Jameson Caskmates, Stout Edition, Blend, 40%

You could say this is the original beer barrel aged whiskey – and it’s certainly been a big success – as well as spawning many others.

The colour was noticeably darker than the other 2 stouts & on par with the Charred Cask – a deep golden brown.

A honeyed rich caramel nose.

Well rounded mouthfeel – definitely smooth – with entertaining notes from the stout influence coming through towards the finish.

No sharp edges here – nice easy drinking with added flavour.

Dundalgan Stout c/othewhiskeynut

Dundalgan Stout Edition, Single Malt, 42%

As well as being lighter in colour – I found the nose cleaner & fresher.

The palate is single malt mellow – with a touch of sharpness leaving lip smacking flavours dancing off the tongue.

I believe this offering benefits from non chill filtering, natural colouring & a slightly higher ABV.

Teeling Stout c/othewhiskeynut

Teeling Galway Bay Stout Cask, Blend, 46%

The extra ABV kicks in with a spirity nose.

A lovely interaction of coffee like stout notes interplay with fresh sweet grain on the palate.

There’s a bit of a punch on the finish – but the flavours still delight.

Conclusions?

So how to pick a winner?

Tricky!

I’m gonna discount the Teeling as it’s twice the price & the extra ABV could be challenging.

‘Tis enjoyable though!

Jameson is dropped too – the richness & smoothness appeals to many – but I’m looking for a tad more oomph.

So it’s down to the Dundalgans.

For sheer affordability, simplicity of flavour & entertaining delivery – I think the Dundalgan Charred Cask wins the day!

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Púca Irish Whiskey, 40%, Blend

Púca in Irish mythology are mischievous spirits that appear in a variety of disguises – often horses – & can shape shift to confuse their quarry.

Púca Irish Whiskey c/o@WhiskeyPundit

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.

Last one on the shelf! c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Aldi ad c/oAldi

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!

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Headline image courtesy Blackwater Distillery

Drumshanbo Single Pot Still, 43%

Popping into Tesco for a spot of groceries – I couldn’t help noticing the Drumshanbo Single Pot Still on the shelves.

Handily I’d a few vouchers to use – so it made my basket – along with the usual items.

Drumshanbo SPS & Tuath Glass c/othewhiskeynut

Elegantly presented in an opulent box with a fabulously designed chunky bottle inside – this is the slightly less powerful – 43% – version of the 46% Inaugural release I so enjoyed previously.

Lovely rich honeyed vanilla nose.

A silky sweet oily mouthfeel with malt biscuity overtones.

A gorgeously peppery single pot still spice on the finish.

Rich & extravagant c/othewhiskeynut

Having been spoilt by the intensity & ‘joie de vivre’ of Inaugural – this well balanced, easily accessible & complex Single Pot Still felt just a little less luxurious.

But then it’s not everyday you can pick up a Lovely Leitrim Whiskey doing the groceries!

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A Paul John Whisky Miniature Tasting

My first encounter with Paul John was back in 2016 at Whisky Live Melbourne.

The quality of flavours impressed me back then – but there’s been a lot of whiskey since – so a revisit seemed in order.

The pleasures reside within. c/othewhiskeynut

A gorgeously presented miniature pack showcasing their core range happened my way – so I got stuck in!

To be honest – I was blown away!

To paraphrase an old hit – Everyone’s A Winner.

They had me question my preference for peat – as well as the attraction for cask strength.

Brilliance 46%

A gorgeously clean & fresh ex-bourbon cask matured malt.

Edited 46%

A straightforward peat smoke stonker.

Bold 46%

Dials the peat – and the flavours – up a notch.

Classic 55.2%

A cask strength crusader.

Peated 55.5%

The peat fire is getting seriously hot.

Enjoying these whiskies again was a fabulous treat.

Were the joys of a flavoursome ex-bourbon cask malt able to trounce a pleasing peater?

Was the cask strength power curtailed by the 46% sweet spot?

Ready & waiting. c/othewhiskeynut

Let’s just say Bold won the day!

Hat’s off to Paul John – seriously satisfying whisky.

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