Tag Archives: Non Chill Filtered

Púca Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, 40%

The mischievous spirits of Púca Irish Whiskey made a welcome return to the shelves of Aldi.

In addition to the original blend, a single pot still variety has appeared.

Light golden brown in colour, I found a sweet malt biscuity aroma greeting me.

Soft & smooth mouthfeel leading to a flourish of signature single pot still spice livening up the finish.

Very pleasant.

You’ll have to move fast to catch these elusive spirits however.

Only 2 were left on the shelf of my local Aldi!

Sláinte

All images taken by Whiskey Nut in the local Aldi.

Fear, Paranoia & Tasting By Numbers In The Spirits Category.

There appears to be a palpable fear within the spirits drinking community.

Fear of being ‘gouged’ or ‘ripped off’ by rogue producers.

Paranoia that brands aren’t being ‘honest and transparent’ in refusing to disclose every conceivable nugget of information.

Refusing to taste a spirit until the correct check list;

Trusted distillery – check.

Non chill filtered – check.

Single Malt – check.

Cask Strength – check.

Distillery release – check.

Or whatever criteria you choose has been adhered to.

It’s all so reductionist.

Taste is not defined by what is – or isn’t – written on the side of a bottle.

Taste isn’t made by engaging tweets or larger than life characters.

Taste is the complex interplay of the individual drinkers palate with the fruits of the raw ingredients, distilling process, blending & maturation regimes of the liquid before them.

Someone’s ‘amber nectar’ is another’s ‘gnat’s piss’.

What if all that extraneous information was removed?

What if all bottles of spirits simply stated the legal minimum?

No branding, no advertising, no stories?

Would the spirit taste the same?

Well – yes and no.

Yes in that the liquid – and your palate – remains the same.

Having blind tasted whiskey for the Irish Whiskey Awards over a number of years a familiar pattern of brands & styles consistently rise to the top.

On the other hand slick advertising, where & whom with you taste the liquid as well as your mood on the day can all sway the results.

But is there another fear at play?

Fear of enjoying a drink that is deemed unpopular?

Fear of enjoying a spirit that hasn’t matched your check list?

Or simply a fear of not conforming?

You don’t have to like the popular brands or top sellers.

Just enjoy what works for your individual palate.

Above all – enjoy the journey.

Sample & taste as far and wide as possible – you’ll quickly find your own sweet spot.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Clan Colla, 11 Year Old Blend & 19 Year Old Single Malt, 46%

Ahascragh Distillery in County Galway is beginning to take shape.

Conversion of the Old Mill – situated in the heart of the pretty village – into a modern Irish Whiskey Distillery & Visitors Centre is ongoing.

The new café is already welcoming customers & offers branded gifts alongside light refreshments.

For the harder stuff – a visit to one of the local hostelries is suggested. Nearby Katie Daly’s Bar was open the day I visited.

In advance of their own whiskey being produced Ahascragh Distillery have released a trio of sourced spirits – Xin Gin, Clan Colla 11yo Blend & Clan Colla 19yo Single Malt.

Clan Colla 11 Year Old Blend

A lovely rich, warm glow of dark vanilla & deep inviting leather notes signifies to my tastes a classic ex-bourbon cask matured whiskey.

Hints of juiciness & stone fruit succulence on the palate.

The finish gradually dries out & I was left with an attractive bite giving added character & flair to this very attractive blend.

Clan Colla 19 Year Old Single Malt, 46%

Like slipping down into the warm embrace & comforting hug of a generously padded old leather armchair!

The bourbon cask has worked it’s charms on this silky smooth yet wholesome & juicy malt.

Delightful.

Thoughts

A stupendous & stunning duo to launch the McAllister family’s adventure into the whiskey business.

For my palate the 11yo offered that extra oomph with being finished in peated casks additional to the oloroso featured across both whiskey.

I didn’t detect any smokiness but that dryness & attractive frisson of bite on the finish won me over.

Best wishes to Ahascragh Distillery!

Sláinte

All images authors own.

An Fear Grinn, Móinteach, Single Malt, 46%

Having moved house during the pandemic this generous sample from the good people at An Fear Grinn almost went missing.

Móinteach time! c/othewhiskeynut

Luckily the new owners of my old abode kindly informed me of the package & it duly graced my happy hands.

What a delight it proved to be!

Móinteach – roughly translates as peaty – exhibited those lovely rich smokey aromas I adore.

Clean & clear – yet not overpowering.

The palate was milder & sweeter than nosing suggested.

Móinteach came alive on the finish for me.

A gorgeous drying out, tingling sensation – reminding me of the warm glow from the fading embers of a hearty fire wrapping me in it’s comforting embrace.

c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

Móinteach – my kinda whiskey!

Lough Ree Distillery, The Bridge Series, Barley Harbour, Single Malt, Single Cask, 46%

Barley Harbour is the latest release from Lough Ree Distillery’s Bridge Series.

Barley Harbour c/othewhiskeynut

Named after an actual berthing point on Lough Ree itself, The Bridge Series tides the distillery over until their own whiskey is ready.

I happily encountered Barley Harbour at the wonderfully reconvened ‘live’ Midlands Craft Beer Festival at Don’s Bar in Moate.

Presented in an elegantly elongate bottle bearing the striking Lough Ree Distillery logo, Barley Harbour is offered at 46%, non chill filtered & natural colour – as are all The Bridge series.

Gone fishing c/othewhiskeynut

Sourced from a certain Northern distillery which usually presents it’s whiskey at 40%, chill filtered & added caramel – Lough Ree – as independent bottlers – provide a marvelous opportunity to taste the full potential of this ex-bourbon matured six & a half year old.

Lovely clarity of flavour.

Rich & engaging mouthfeel.

A gorgeously long lasting finish.

Chatting to one of the founders – inbetween a few tasty beers! – it appears there will be some very exciting developments from Lough Ree Distillery shortly.

As it is, Barley Harbour is an excellent single malt Irish whiskey to savour & enjoy.

Catch it while you can!

Sláinte

Saison Rum Tasting, 40% to 48%, Barbados, Jamaica & Trinidad

The diversity & quality of rums within the Saison Rum range impressed me very much.

Saison rum tasting c/othewhiskeynut

Part of the excellent Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder tasting series. As usual I missed the actual live Zoom event – but tuned in later on YouTube for more information about Saison Rum.

My brief tasting notes – in italics – were gathered catching the last of the summer sun in my back garden before watching the video.

Saison Pale Rum, 40%

Pale straw, lovely fresh pungency, reminiscent of sugar cane rum, grassy. Soft, mellow & mouth coating. Gorgeously warm spiciness on the finish.

Lovely!

Saison Rum, 42%

Golden brown, inviting hint of funk in a rich demerara cake. Sweet, smooth & warming. Dries out on the finish in a lip smacking finalé.

Gorgeous!

Saison Sherry Cask Rum, 42%

Golden brown, soft, sweet juicy fruity wine gums. Mild & mellow. Quite light on the finish with a lovely dry tingling.

Grand.

Saison Reserve Rum, 43.5%

Golden brown, soft sweet funk. Richness & depth. Mellow funky finish. A luxurious rum – well balanced & civil.

Saison Barbados 5yo, 46%

Pale brown, sweet fruit cake. Mild. Combination of sweetness & spice with a tingling finish.

One for the sweet tooth!

Saison Trinidad, 7yo, 48%

Pale brown, mild & sweet. Soft palate. Sugar & spice & all things nice.

Dessert rum!

A very enjoyable tasting indeed!

From a funky start to a dessert finish with extremely well balanced & complex rums inbetween – Saison Rum have a bottle to suit every taste.

Using rum sourced from Barbados, Jamaica & Trinidad, French Cognac House Tessendier have recently branched out into rum blending with this gorgeous Saison Rum range.

The rums are shipped to France in bulk at cask strength for careful blending & further maturation in cognac casks. Presented non chill filtered with no added sugar – the results are full of flavour & joie de vivre that my palate enjoys.

Personally my preference veers towards the younger – more brasher – funkiness of the non age statement offerings.

I found the sweetness of the Sherry Cask & Single Origin bottles a touch too much.

Flavoursome rum c/othewhiskeynut

In a close contest Saison Rum won the day with it’s solid dollop of Jamaican dunder.

Which one would your palate pick?

Hat’s off to Saison Rum!

Santé!

Bottle shots courtesy Vintus & Celtic Whiskey Shop.

Kinahan’s Kasc M, 45%, Single Malt

A 2021 Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) report stated 96% of the whiskey made in Ireland is destined for sales abroad.

This allows many companies to exclusively target that market – without selling in the Auld Sod!

Kinahan’s are one of them.

Kasc M c/othewhiskeynut

Proudly displaying a long heritage back to 1779 – Kinahan’s describe themselves as pioneers.

My first encounter was at The Dead Rabbit in NYC.

The Dead Rabbit NYC c/othewhiskeynut

Kinahan’s 10yo Single Malt was a pleasing fruity offering in a bourbon country that reminded me of home.

My next meeting was more pioneering.

The Kasc Project advertising caught my eye & the unconventional hybrid barrels intrigued.

Hybrid cask c/othewhiskeynut

Using casks made up of staves from various woods – Portuguese Oak, American Oak, Hungarian Oak, French Oak & Chestnut – gave the youthful Kasc B – for blend – a complexity & depth of flavour normally found in older aged whiskeys.

Very enjoyable!

A further encounter resulted in Kasc M – the latest single malt incarnation.

Kasc in a Tuath c/othewhiskeynut

Sweet honeyed nose with hints of nuttiness & deeper depth.

Very smooth & mouth coating initially – before a mélange of complex flavours danced merrily on the palate.

Builds to a prickly tingling sensation leaving a lasting dryness gently fading away.

I really enjoyed this one!

Riot c/othewhiskeynut

It may be a riot of wood – but it’s more a harmony of flavour.

The interaction of diverse woods within the hybrid cask has brought about a fabulous melting pot of notes complimenting each other in a balanced performance.

The 45% strength & non chill filtration also help to showcase the whiskey.

It’s enough to tempt me abroad!

Sláinte

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.

Sláinte

Black’s 18 Year Old, Irish Rum Cask Finish, Single Malt, 56%

Black’s Brewery & Distillery have been satisfying thirsty drinkers for nearly a decade.

Their beers proved a hit on the growing craft beer scene with hop forward offerings – sadly not to my tastes – building a loyal following.

Black’s moonshine c/othewhiskeynut

Moving into the distilling scene Black’s excited me more with an early BlackMoon XXX release which pleased my palate.

Black’s Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Several entertaining whiskeys of sourced distillate also went down well.

Black’s Rum. c/othewhiskeynut

Black’s own wholly Irish produced Golden Rum certainly wowed my senses – as well as The World Rum Awards!

Black’s 18yo Rum Cask c/oBlacks

This latest premium 18 Year Old Single Malt has been finished in barrels used to mature that Irish Golden Rum – a world first!

Luckily a sample from Black’s of this limited edition release came my way.

Black’s 18 c/othewhiskeynut

A lovely golden hue.

Gorgeously rich aromas. Thinking rum & raisin, gentle woodiness – yet almost earthy.

Initially sweet & easy notes of soft caramel infused with stronger oakiness coat the palate before the 56% ABV kicks in with a joyful explosion of power.

A prickly tingling of gently drying spiciness faded slowly away.

A very attractive & alluring malt indeed.

Pity it’s a bit beyond my price range!

Sláinte

Black’s Brewery & Distillery kindly supplied the sample.

All views – as always – are my own.

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.

Sláinte