A special whiskey require a suitable time to be opened.
The festive season provided an opportune occasion to crack open & share the contents of this splendid bottle.
Teeling Whiskey Company were at the forefront of bringing whiskey distilling back to the heart of Dublin when they opened up in 2015.
They have successfully leveraged that position by releasing a series of limited edition whiskeys under The Revival series label.
As much care & thought has gone into the presentation packaging of this whiskey as to the actual contents.
The elegant oversized black & gold box swings open to reveal an opulent looking bottle. The Phoenix seal of approval officially declares the contents.
The bottle itself is suitably heavy & chunky while the gold topped cork stopper is also of solid weight.
All of this screams ‘Premium Product’ to me – as well as added expense.
I’ve a feeling a lot of these bottles are destined to never being opened.
Some may end up on prominent display to boost the credibility & bragging rights of the owner.
Others may be hidden in vaults to accrue added value & emerge at a future date for sale to eager collectors.
I’m into whiskey however for the taste & flavour so a glass – or two – was poured!
Now I must admit to being fond of Teeling Whiskey.
They generally release at 46% or above which usually denotes non chill filtering & natural colour. The crispness, clarity & richness of flavour attest to this.
Revival V is no exception.
For me the ex-cognac cask have added a sumptuous nuttiness to the mix – which has me hooked.
Being a 12 year old the original whiskey clearly wasn’t distilled by Teeling.
They acquired a large inventory of sourced stock from an unnamed Irish Distillery – or distilleries – from which they’ve further matured, finished, mixed & blended under the expert guidance of Master Distiller Alex Chasko.
What may have originally been destined as the malt content in a blend, a 40% chill filtered & coloured supermarket whiskey – or even a single cask distillery offering – has ended up as a splendidly presented limited release whiskey.
This is not core release Teeling.
This is unicorn bottling.
A one off chance to grab some quality Irish Whiskey while it lasts.
I’m glad someone grabbed it for me.
This kind of product is no longer within my reach!
Herself was going to a play at the fabulous Galway International Arts Festival then on to meet mutual friends for a meal – so I tagged along.
Not being a thespian buff I thought I’d visit Mars – a sculpture on show at the former Persse Distillery – only to discover it had moved!
Ah well – time for a drink.
An Púcán provided the refreshments & as I scanned their extensive whiskey list for something I’d not tried before – Armorik Classic Single Malt fitted the bill.
It took sometime to locate the bottle as it was on show in one of the numerous display cabinets around the bar – but it did arrive.
The bottle read ‘non chill filtered, 46%‘ which is a good start. ‘caramel added’ is stated on the back – although according to Warenghem Distilley’s website they have since moved to ‘natural colour’ for their offerings.
The nose proved clean, fresh & inviting with hits of old leather.
Decent body, smooth mouthfeel displaying notes on the savoury, umami spectrum.
Finishes with a frisson of spice.
Armorik Classic comes over as a grounded whiskey showing it’s earthy agricultural roots – perhaps even a smidgen of terroir using French barley?
American Single Malt Whiskey is a growing category.
I thought a back to back with one of the new breed of American Distillery’s releases against a more established Bourbon producer was in order.
Rúa American Single Malt, 46%
Distilled at the Great Wagon Road Distillery in North Carolina & claiming Irish heritage with the Rúa name is this non chill filtered , natural colour organic, non GMO barley offering.
A lovely richness to the nose. Mild & mellow on the palate. Slowly builds developing into a very attractive & enjoyable array of flavours which dance merrily away.
A very well presented single malt.
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, 45%
Hailing from the long established & popular Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky is this Small Batch release. A blend of different bourbon mash-bills with varying degrees of rye content.
I immediately get a warm dry nose – indicative of the high rye content Four Roses is known for. A satisfying mouthfeel where the dry spiciness of the rye interplays with the smooth sweet corn influence. Leaves with that signature prickly spice.
Nice & easy.
I enjoyed both of these!
Trying to pick a winner is a bit tricky.
Do I go for the subtle yet engaging flavours of the newcomer single malt?
Or stick with the bolder rye spices of the established player?
Four Roses are relatively easy to encounter – but I do think Rúa is worth seeking out.
It’s constantly seeking new experiences that engage me on this spirit journey – so Rúa it is!
A visit to the fabulous Dead Centre Brewery in the heart of Ireland overlooking the mighty River Shannon was on my mind.
I’d heard a collaborative Irish Whiskey – whiskey barrels from Lough Ree had been loaned to Dead Centre to create a beer – Here Right Now – then given back to Lough Ree to finish a whiskey in – Dead Centre No 1 & No 2 were now available at the bar.
Known primarily for their excellent range of craft beer Dead Centre Brewing now boast a pair of Single Cask, Single Malt Irish Whiskey proudly displayed behind the bar.
A serving of each was duly ordered – & I retired to the outside decking above the Shannon to sample the results.
The Bridge Series is an apt name. For Lough Ree Distillery it denotes the journey between setting up the company using sourced whiskey – GND for Dead Centre – before their own distillate arrives.
It also marks a journey of discovery, collaboration & connection – not only with fellow drinks producers & marketeers to get the whiskey on the shelves – but also for the consumers to enjoy the variety of flavours & styles on show.
Additionally there’s the physical journey from my riverside perch overlooking Athlone town bridge at the bottom of Lough Ree itself to the bridge at Lanesborough beside Lough Ree Distillery’s site. A trip well worth doing by boat!
Today my journey however was one of taste.
Dead Centre No 1, 43%
Clean, crisp & soft aromas augmented with a touch of depth. The whiskey greats you with a warm embrace. Offers up a subtle depth complete with a long lasting slightly dry finish topped off with a sprinkling of prickly spice.
Dead Centre No 2, 46%
If anything – slightly cleaner & crisper. Found No 2 had a smoother delivery with a bigger embrace of warmth from those rich toffee like notes. The spice on the finish correspondingly was a little more subdued offering a rounder tasting appeal.
Trying to pick out the minutiae of variation between 2 single cask Irish Whiskey by the banks of the Shannon is a bit of a nerdy exercise.
Both are lovely exemplar of beer barrel finished whiskey aided by Lough Ree’s policy of presenting the liquid non chill filtered & natural colour to allow the flavours to shine.
I have to confess a certain degree of local pride in these whiskey. Knowing the players behind both of these drinks businesses & sharing their journeys as they successfully produce highly entertaining liquid as well as enjoyable destinations for visitors to the area is a joy to witness & partake in.
Why don’t you partake for yourself?
I’d recommend Dead Centre Brewing as a suitable venue – & if you message me I might be encouraged to join you savouring the liquid delights within!