Well here’s one that almost got away!
I’ve taken to hosting ‘Whiskey By The Water’ tasting evenings in one of my local bars.
The water being the Shannon & the bar Sean’s.
It’s a way of sharing my growing drinks cabinet that would be folly of me to consume on my own.
Old Horseshoe is an Aldi brand from an un-named source.
The 70 Proof is a throwback to the Sikes system of alcohol strength as used in the UK until the 1980’s – they might yet go back to it after leaving Europe.
Deep brown in colour with viscous legs.
I’m getting a classic high-rye bourbon style of nose from Old Horseshoe – very reminiscent of Four Roses.
Quite a dry mouthfeel.
The dry peppery nuttiness is long lasting.
A lovely drop.
Sean’s Bar website here.
Discover The Shannon website here.
Old Horseshoe Aldi website here.
Sikes proof system explanation here.
The cork disintegrated on trying to open this miniature Red Hackle.
Not a promising start.
Several old bottles of whisky I’ve picked up along the way have also started to deteriorate – leaving a stale musty taste behind.
Red Hackle had only a faint whiff of decay – along with some sherried depth & a teaser of tabacco.
Silky smooth mouthfeel,
The finish had an engaging prickly dryness topped off with a smidgen of smoke.
Red Hackle has held it’s delights very well over the decades.
Surprisingly so – as the internet suggests my bottle is from the 1960’s!
A charming dram.
On 1st January 1980 the UK adopted the European ABV system over the older Sikes method.
To convert proof to ABV multiply by 4 & divide by 7 – giving you 40%.
This bottle of Dimple – courtesy John Haig & Co Ltd Distillers, Markinch – is therefore at least 41 years in the bottle.
Age hasn’t been kind.
It’s fusty, flat & a bit lifeless.
Enjoy your whisky freshly bottled – before the sparkle fades.
After enjoying the simple pleasures of Goslings Black Seal, I was happy to explore further.
Gold Seal is pale straw in colour.
A soft sweet funk presented itself on the nose which followed through into the palate.
The sugary sweetness was a tad overdone for me – but it had a good mouthfeel & an enjoyable prickly spice on the rear.
‘Sugar & spice & all things nice’ – as they say – which isn’t how you’d describe 151 Proof.
At a staggering 75.5% – 151 Proof is a beast of a rum!
A ruby brown hue & rather than burning – an aroma of heavy dark funk replete with treacly molasses came through.
Surprisingly smooth on the palate – initially.
The heavy funk is gradually superceded by the powerful drying & prickly heat of the 151 proof alcohol.
Full of flavour & entertainingly attractive – it left your senses reeling.
Handle 151 with care!
NB The above products contain added caramel & were purchased from Just Miniatures.
I used to fly.
Probably won’t be doing it for a while now.
One enjoyable pastime at the airport was sampling whiskey.
JFK had a pair of Beams not previously encountered.
The Black Extra Aged sported an attractive enough bottle.
‘Black’ is often used in whiskey circles to denote a more refined, aged or even mysterious elixir.
I was happy to explore.
It came across quite soft & sweet – but with an appreciatively appealing bite too.
The Signature Craft 12 Year Old displayed a more rounded & smoother feel – lacking the youthful exuberance of it’s stablemate.
Black won out.
My final bottle of Irish Whiskey – from my American market only trio – is Kavanagh Irish Whiskey.
They release a range of attractively labelled whiskeys. Namely a Blend, a Single Malt, a Single Grain and a 16 Year Old Single Malt – all at 40% ABV – or 80 Proof in America.
This NAS (non age statement) Single Malt made it back to Ireland for me to sample.
The distillery of origin is not stated and Kavanagh seem to be a store brand for Total Wine & More – from where it was purchased.
The nose was soft & fruity – almost orchard like – with hints of honey.
The palate started off suitably smooth – yet gradually built up with warming vanilla & caramel leaving a welcome soft tingling spice on the finish.
A very easy & approachable single malt. Relatively simple with no great complexity or depth – but for the price point it delivers an enjoyable experience.
I’d happily go on to sample the other Kavanagh Whiskeys based on my findings.