Tag Archives: Sherry Casks

A Trio of Blacks Irish Whiskey, Triple Threat, Maple Mayhem & Black Smoke, 40% to 43%.

Blacks of Kinsale are currently building their own distillery. In the meantime they have released this core rage sourced Irish Whiskey trio to entice you in.

Presented in attractively liveried bottles bearing their trademark flying crow emblem the names allure to the beer brewing background of Blacks.

I was fortunate enough to be sent a sample pack from Blacks to taste.

All thoughts on the whiskey – as always – are my own.

Triple Threat, 40%

As the name suggests, this Irish Blended Whiskey is aged in a triple cask trio of bourbon, sherry & virgin oak casks.

Light brown in colour. The nose wasn’t giving much away, sweet grainy vanillas. A silky mouthfeel. Honeyed. Drying spiciness on the rear enlivens this solid starter of a blend.

Engaging!

Maple Mayhem, 43%

An unusual one this – aged in maple bourbon casks!

Wasn’t sure what to expect – yet the nose offered up a rich dark sweetness that pulled me in. Smooth palate grows into a surprisingly complex dark honey yet spicy & tingly finalé.

Enticing!

Black Smoke, 43%

A more conventional heavily peated offering.

Have you ever noticed heavy peaters tend to be the palest whiskey out there?

Black Smoke is no exception!

That coastal, iodiney peat is evident on the nose – yet doesn’t overpower. Very engaging on the palate. It’s the finish that excites me. The warming hug of a turf fire heats up & pulls me in with it’s comforting embrace.

A solid sod of turf to please the palate!

Thoughts

This trio of Blacks Irish Whiskey are currently available (Oct ’22) in the sub €50 category level – prices subject to upward pressure in the ongoing economic climate.

They offer a solid & surprisingly complexity of flavour.

Black Smoke would be my whiskey of choice here – but Maple Mayhem engaged me more than I expected with a heavy sweetness that enticed. Triple Threat meanwhile isn’t threatening at all – just a good solid blended Irish Whiskey!

Fabulous to taste the growing array of Irish Whiskey out there – which one would please your palate?

Sláinte

Blacks of Kinsale website here.

The Spirits Business article on economic situation here.

Bottle images courtesy Blacks of Kinsale.

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You can’t beat a good blend, Dunville’s 1808, 40%, Irish Whiskey

I always enjoy a blind tasting.

Stripped of any clues as to what’s before you it heightens your senses to the tastes & flavours experienced on drinking the liquid.

Presented before me were 6 samples. I duly poured them into 6 identical Túath glasses & proceeded to savour the contents.

For some reason I thought this was a rum tasting – & quickly revised this theory as No 1 ‘despite having a bit of a sour nose the lack of body on the palate & high ABV kick signalled to me a poitín! Can’t say it did much for me. Nice experience – but not an approachable spirit’.

There was no No 2 so No 3 ‘proved intriguing. The pale yellow colour, soft fruity nose, easy palate with slight hints of burnt notes on the rear drew me in. I could drink this one again!’.

With No 4I experienced a slightly musty nose, indicative of long ageing, perfectly fine palate yet lacked a bit of body & very dry on the rear. Rather nonplussed by this one’.

No 5 ‘had a sherry like influence, smooth & silky on the palate with a nice touch of dryness on the rear. Could be a low ppm peater? Not quite enough to excite me if it is’.

No 6 ‘initially blew me away! Suggestive of high ABV. On a 2nd tasting it still didn’t entice me’.

No 7 ‘kinda hooked me, if only for a more pronounced smoky influence. Elegant yet challenging all at the same time’.

So that was it! My initial thoughts are in italics.

Samples 3 & 7 stood out for me in this selection.

So what were they?

Photo courtesy Irish Drink Shop

3 – Dunville’s 1808, Blended Irish Whiskey, 40%

What can I say? A very pleasant easy drinker with enough depth of character to keep me coming back for more.

Photo courtesy Whisky Exchange

7 – Smögen 100 Proof, 6 Year Old, Swedish Single Malt, 57.1%

A heavy peater finished in oloroso casks at a challenging high ABV. Think I’d have enjoyed this one more at 46% without the oloroso finish myself.

And the others?

1 – Black’s Single Pot New Make, 63.5%

4 – Jamesons Black Barrel Proof, Blend, 50%

5 – High Coast, Dálvve Sherry Influence, Swedish Single Malt, 48%

A light peater with 50/50 bourbon/sherry influence. A bit of a let down from the original high peater Box Dálvve I enjoyed at Gothenberg Airport here.

6 – Bushmills Causeway Collection, 2008 Muscatel Casks, Single Malt, 56.4%

Given that Smögen is a bit of a unicorn bottle – hard to get hold of, pricey & limited edition – as are some of the other bottles – I think Dunville’s 1808 performed extremely well on my palate.

I took away a few themes from this tasting. High ABV can blow away the flavours for me & make for a challenging drinking experience. Sherry cask influence isn’t my style of choice & when it comes to enjoyable, affordable drinking – you can’t beat a good blend!

What would your palate have chosen?

Sláinte

Many thanks to fellow Whiskey Blogger S for the blind samples & bottle photo.

May Lóag Oriel & Bordeaux Smoked, Blends, 40%

The rise of Irish Whiskey continues at an unprecedented pace & anything that gets you noticed in an ever increasing marketplace is a bonus.

May Lóag Irish Whiskey’s attractively designed bottles crowned with distinctive ‘Bull Horns’ evoking tales of Táin Bó Cúailnge – Cattle Raid Of Cooley – certainly stand out from the crowd.

But what do they taste like?

A recent gathering of the Athlone Whiskey Tasting Society provided the answer.

Oriel was first up.

The core blend comprises of ‘malt and grain Irish Whiskey aged in bourbon, red wine and sherry casks’ as stated on the label.

A very expressive & engaging sweet nose enticed me in.

Quite light on the palate yet subtle notes of dark fruitiness provided welcome depth.

A gently pleasing spice rounded this very well balanced & delightful blend up.

Bordeaux Smoked – also a blend – came ‘Lightly Peated’ with a 2 cask maturation of ‘bourbon and red wine’.

The soft sweet peat on the nose was a delight.

A fresh lightness on the palate gave clarity to the interplay of vanilla, dark fruits & an enjoyable smokiness.

The smoke gently faded away on a prickly drying finish.

A gorgeous & gentle sweet peater with subtle depth.

May Lóag have released a very tasty pair of attractive blends in distinctive packaging at an extremely competitive price to boot.

Here’s hoping May Lóag gain the popularity they deserve.

Sláinte

May Lóag Irish Whiskey is a brand from Old Carrick Mill, Carrickmacross, website here.

Carlos I, Solera Gran Reserva, Brandy de Jerez, 40%

My wife brought me back this miniature from Spain a few years ago.

Never got round to tasting it – until now.

Plummy sweet nose with a solid earthy feel.

Sweet & easy palate with a slight nuttiness.

Lovely turn of earthy spice on the rear.

Beats any brandy I’ve had before!

One to sip & savour.

Sláinte

Jatt Life, Blended Irish Whiskey, 40%

There are Irish Whiskey brands existing catering soley for markets outside of Ireland.

Jatt Life in Tuath

That’s Jatt Life.

I picked this bottle up on a recent UK visit.

That’s Jatt Life.

The publicity is slick, contemporary, very active on social media & appears to target a demographic & culture of bling that wouldn’t include myself.

That’s Jatt Life.

Jatt Life info

There’s little information on the bottle – but tasting & enjoying the contents is my motivation.

That’s Jatt Life.

A lovely rich nose redolent of succulent dark fruits complemented by hints of woody oak.

The mouthfeel is deep & luxurious.

More woody spice comes through leaving a dry tingling on the long finish.

That’s Jatt Life.

Often virgin oak maturation can be quite aggressive – but additional finishing with sherry oak has introduced a wonderful luscious rich fruity interplay.

That’s Jatt Life.

Enjoying Jatt Life

A very engaging & characterful blend.

Congratulations to Jatt Life – expanding the Irish Whiskey category.

Sláinte

All images courtesy Whiskey Nut

Red Hackle De Luxe, Scotch Whisky, 70 Proof, Blend.

The cork disintegrated on trying to open this miniature Red Hackle.

Red Hackle c/othewhiskeynut

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.

A charming dram c/othewhiskeynut

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.

Sláinte

Stokerij De Molenberg, 3rd Anniversary Edition 2016, Sola Jerez, 46%, Blend.

I don’t know why I left it so long to open this bottle.

Belgian beauty c/othewhiskeynut

All the Belgian whiskies I’ve had the pleasure of encountering before were very enjoyable – and this one is no exception.

Elegantly presented in a striking box replete with information as to the make up of this blend – a uniquely attractive bottle sits inside.

Info c/othewhiskeynut

Regardless of packaging or cask details however – a tasting is what counts – 2016 Sola Jerez is a delight!

Rich sherry aromas rise from the glass on pouring.

The mouthfeel is warm, flavourful & engaging – with an appreciable bite on the finish which only adds to the appeal.

A complex interplay of the differing maturation casks used.

If only I could travel to Belgium to enjoy more of De Molenberg’s output!

Sláinte

Dead Centre, Preciou2 Cargo, Sherry Barrel Aged Belgian Tripel, 9.2%

I never got hold of Preciou1 Cargo – but popping down to the Dead Centre Brewery to collect my tasty takeaway pizza – Preciou2 was on display.

So I bought it.

Combining 2 of my favourite styles of beer – barrel aged – sherry this time – and Belgian Tripel – the results were a delight.

Despite the 9.2% ABV this is seductively easy to drink.

Starting off with a beguiling lightness on the palate, heavier rich notes of maltiness & treacly undertones develop.

A touch of nuttiness on the finish only adds to the experience.

Preciou2 Cargo was brewed to celebrate Dead Centre’s 2nd Birthday.

With beer this good – let there be many more!

Sláinte

Wicklow Hills, Blend, 40%

Despite my own personal preferences, sherry finished whiskey remains the category of choice for sales & any new brand – like Barr an Uicse from Wicklow – usually have an offering in this style.

An opportune sample at my local O’Briens displayed a fresh & vibrant grainy nose overlaid with deeper, darker notes of sweet plums from the sherry influence.

An attractively easy little sipper.

Sláinte

Drumshanbo Single Pot Still, 43%

Popping into Tesco for a spot of groceries – I couldn’t help noticing the Drumshanbo Single Pot Still on the shelves.

Handily I’d a few vouchers to use – so it made my basket – along with the usual items.

Drumshanbo SPS & Tuath Glass c/othewhiskeynut

Elegantly presented in an opulent box with a fabulously designed chunky bottle inside – this is the slightly less powerful – 43% – version of the 46% Inaugural release I so enjoyed previously.

Lovely rich honeyed vanilla nose.

A silky sweet oily mouthfeel with malt biscuity overtones.

A gorgeously peppery single pot still spice on the finish.

Rich & extravagant c/othewhiskeynut

Having been spoilt by the intensity & ‘joie de vivre’ of Inaugural – this well balanced, easily accessible & complex Single Pot Still felt just a little less luxurious.

But then it’s not everyday you can pick up a Lovely Leitrim Whiskey doing the groceries!

Sláinte