Tag Archives: Oak Barrels

Nardini Grappa Riserva, 50%

This is my 1st Grappa since returning from Lucca.

Grappa is fierce hard to get hold of in Ireland outside of specialist shops or select restaurants.

Nardini – who began distilling in 1779 – appear to be the only brand readily available here.

I enjoyed their Bianca – clear, unaged – offering previously so moved up a notch with this Riserva – aged in Slavonian oak barrels – presented at 50%.

Pale gold in colour.

Rich pungent nuttiness, dried fruit & chocolate on the nose.

Lovely smooth mouthfeel belies the high ABV.

Slowly builds intensity with those nutty flavours mixed into a growing prickly dryness on a lip-smacking finish.

A rather intense – yet invigorating – experience!

Sláinte

Nardini website here.

Lucca blog post here.

Nardini Bianca blog post here.

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VodQuila, WhisQuila, RumQuila – An Exploration of Blending.

Red Eye Louie’s brand of blended spirits caught my eye.

They do a line of Vodquila, Whisquila & Rumquila which had me tempted.

Unlikely to appear in Ireland – I decided to make my own.

Rather than blending from the same spirit category – Red Eye Louie’s mix up the spirits creating something new & exciting. Not knowing the percentages used nor the original spirit donors – I simply went with what I had & settled on a 1 third to 2 thirds mix weighted towards tequila.

My donor bottles were;

Tequila Azteca, 38%

Absolut Vodka, 40%

O’Neill’s Irish Whiskey, 40%

Ron Pelicano Jamaican Rum, 40%

Pressing on the coloured highlights will take you to my original blogs on the liquids.

VodQuila

Not sure what to expect here – or if the spirits will ‘marry’ together – but no venture no gain!

Well the pungent agave nose survives! Shouldn’t have been too surprised. Vodka after all is a neutral spirit suitable for mixing. An oily mouthfeel, more agave notes warming to a pleasant peppery finish.

Could have easily confused this for an actual tequila!

I had to re-check with Azteca to get a comparison. If anything the agave notes were more pronounced with the original – but the vodka had provided a boost to the body of the mix.

I’ll take the Azteca nose, VodQuila body & Azteca finish with this one!

WhisQuila

This might be more of a challenge!

Both whiskey & tequila have distinctive characteristics – will they gel together?

In a word – yes!

The agave still came through – but with added vanilla, caramel & a touch of oak. All contributions from barrel ageing. The peppery spice still provided a flourish on the finish.

This blend strayed into reposado style tequila.

I must say I found it very entertaining!

RumQuila

The final push!

How will a funky Jamaican get on with a tasty Mexican?

It’s the funk that plays the nose on this one!

The fruitiness is somewhat subdued by an almost savoury agaviness on the palate & then it all comes alive on the finish. The funk just got peppered!

That’s a new experience for me!

Thoughts

I must say I’ve been mightily impressed with the results!

All 3 blends gave additional body, flavours and/or joie de vivre to the individual components – making for an entertaining & highly enjoyable tasting extravaganza!

I think Red Eye Louise’s are onto something with their pre-mixed drinks – but there’s nothing to stop yourself from experimenting at home.

I’m certainly glad I did!

Sláinte

Red Eye Louie’s website here.

Bacardí Reserva Ocho, Rare Gold Rum, 40%, Puerto Rico

Bacardí Ocho is one of those rums whiskey drinkers can easily appreciate.

Bacardi Ocho c/othewhiskeynut

A dark sweetness of butterscotch & toffee on the nose.

Soft & smooth palate replete with heavy fruits & a touch of nuttiness.

Growing woody spiciness from 8 years in oak barrels add some flair to the long finish.

Label info c/othewhiskeynut

An easy going sipper of a rum found widely in stores around Ireland.

Sláinte

Admiral’s Cask, Premium Panama Rum, 40%

An attractive barrel shaped presentation caught my eye.

Roll Out The Barrel! c/othewhiskeynut

Premium Panama Rum – Cask Aged.

What’s not to like?

Pours a rich deep brown.

Lovely pour. c/othewhiskeynut

Viscous legs coat the glass.

Sweet golden caramels with a hint of oaky tannins on the aroma.

An easy going demerara style palate greets me with a lovely flourish of lip smacking spice on the finish.

Label info c/othewhiskeynut

Yo ho ho and a barrel of rum!

Sláinte

Emanates from Old St Andrews Fine Spirits – creators of the Golf Ball Whisky reviewed earlier.