Tag Archives: Proper No Twelve

Grace O’Malley, Dark Rum & Char Casks, Blend, 42%

The rebirth of Irish Whiskey is a wonderful spectacle to witness.

New players in the market are attracted by the phenomenal growth rate and renewed confidence of Irish Whiskey worldwide.

Brands that effectively had monopoly sales are now being challenged by a bold new wave of exciting upstarts that are changing the face of Irish Whiskey.

Proper 12
c/otwitter

This undoubtedly causes a few upsets & disputes.

The status quo is gone.

Irish Whiskey is beginning to mature and is experiencing growing pains.

Whiskey Nut thoroughly welcomes this not entirely unexpected development. – it’s like watching your young teenager learning to drive.

Sure there’ll be some false starts & shaky take-offs – but with trial, error and growing experience – they can become a confident, safe  & skilled driver.

Well Irish Whiskey is back in the driving seat – and it’s a joy to behold.

Every week brings announcements of new & exciting distilleries or brands entering the market.

Brands like Grace O’Malley Whiskey.

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c/oGrace O’Malley Whiskey facebook page

The advertising is bold.

Recalling a true life Pirate Queen figure from Ireland’s rich historical past.

The bottle presentation is brave.

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Keeping it all in! c/othewhiskeynut

Enclosed in a black bodice style gaily printed wrap Grace O’Malley Whiskey is certainly eye-catching.

I found the allure irresistible so promptly ordered a bottle from L. Mulligan Whiskey Shop.

Suitably impressed by the presentation – I wasted no time in cracking it open.

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#believeingrace c/othewhiskeynut

The nose displays a joyfully youthful & fresh grain combined with softly sweet malts giving a lovely warmth & gentle spice.

The smooth delivery lulled me in before a gently drying spiciness laden with dark cherries gave added character & depth to the proceedings.

A suitably long finish had an unexpected fruity juiciness appearing at the end just as that gorgeous dryness I enjoy slowly faded.

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Grace O’Malley Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

The contents complimented the tales of Grace O’Malley’s exploits with a characterful mouthfeel, lovely depth of flavour and good complexity too.

The price point is a bit on the high side for a blend – even allowing for the wonderful presentation and mature malt content- but I’m pleased to read the owners will be releasing more attractively costed bottles too here.

Grace O’Malley Whiskey is one of the first third party releases using spirit sourced from the Great Northern Distillery – I look forward to many more.

I wish all connected with the brand a safe journey as they set sail into the brave new world of Irish Whiskey.

Sláinte

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Roll out the barrels!

When stripped back to basis – all whiskey is made the same way.

Peated barley
A grain c/oJack Teeling

A vegetable grain is processed to allow the starch within to be converted into sugar.

The sugar is eaten by a yeast to produce a mild alcoholic liquid.

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A distillery c/othewhiskeynut

The liquid is distilled – ending up as new make spirit.

The spirit is aged in wooden barrels.

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A distiller with wooden barells. c/othewhiskeynut

The wooden barrels are emptied, filled into bottles and labelled.

It’s now whiskey!

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A Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Each step in the process – from the choice & quality of grain used – to the length of time & type of wooden barrels used for maturation – ultimately alters & influences the resultant flavour.

Yet it’s all whiskey.

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A whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Different countries have different rules governing the whole production methods used. What can be done in one country may not be allowed in another.

Yet it’s all whiskey.

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A Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

A distillery can make new spirit in one country – mature it in another – ship it out to a third for final blending – perhaps bottle it in a fourth – and sell it in a fifth.

Yet it’s all whiskey.

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A whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Whether it is labelled Bourbon, Rye, Single Pot Still, Blended, French, German, Chinese, Irish – by the distillery itself – the blenders – the bottlers – the third party brand makers.

It is all whiskey.

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A Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

I drink whiskey.

I enjoy exploring the huge variety of styles, flavours and experiences brought about by the myriad of options available both within one country – as well as the countless choices around the world where whiskey is produced.

I enjoy the never ending innovation, experimentation and technical adaptation that constantly evolves what we know of as whiskey.

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Whiskey from the barrel. c/othewhiskeynut

Roll out the barrels – of whiskey!

Sláinte

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All distilleries featured & whiskeys photographed have been visited, sampled & written about previously on this site.

An Fear Grinn, 16 Year Old Single Malt, Single Cask, 57%.

Irish Whiskey is in resurgence.

There are a plethora of new players attracted to the market buoyed by the confidence of future growth.

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Proper Truck c/oinstagram

From Conor McGregor’s Proper No Twelve at one end of the scale – to An Fear Grinn – a single malt, single cask offering from private bottler Whiskey Factor at the other end.

I welcome them all.

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An Fear Grinn c/oinstagram

It would be a far more worrying state of affairs if there weren’t any newcomers investing in Irish Whiskey.

What unites both of the above releases is they are both representations of spirit distilled at existing distilleries. Until the new crop of distilleries have matured stocks of whiskey at hand – most new entrants have no alternatives.

Whilst Proper No Twelve is a decent enough standard blend banking on it’s celebrity owner’s popularity – or infamy as the case may be – An Fear Grinn is a single cask bottling from an unnamed Irish Distillery. It showcases a liquid not usually available to the public. A liquid that is normally vatted & watered down as a core range single malt – or even potentially used – in small quantities – to give added flavour to a standard blend – like the one above.

I very fortuitously obtained a generous sample from the Whiskey Factor for evaluation & enjoyment.

Now the first thing you notice is the colour.

It’s very pale.

This is a 16 year old single malt matured exclusively in a single ex-bourbon cask.

It represents it’s natural colour.

Without the use of added caramel – it’s what most of our whiskey should look like.

The simple act of pouring a measure into the Túath glass revealed a pleasing waft of warm vanilla.

Clearly no chill filtering either.

At 57% you’d expect a bit of a punch – yet the nose is very fresh & fruity with a hint of tannic woodiness in the background.

Surprisingly smooth on the palate. The rich tannins make their presence felt before the warm vanilla & citrusy fruits shine through.

It’s only on the finish the cask strength of this bottling makes itself known. An explosion of alcohol mixed in with fabulous flavours dances around in a prickly heat before slowly subduing into an oaky spiciness & fruit finale.

Fabulous stuff!

Sláinte.

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An Fear Grinn is only available via Whiskey Factor here.

Many thanks to Whiskey Factor for the sample.