Tag Archives: Single Malt

Black’s 18 Year Old, Irish Rum Cask Finish, Single Malt, 56%

Black’s Brewery & Distillery have been satisfying thirsty drinkers for nearly a decade.

Their beers proved a hit on the growing craft beer scene with hop forward offerings – sadly not to my tastes – building a loyal following.

Black’s moonshine c/othewhiskeynut

Moving into the distilling scene Black’s excited me more with an early BlackMoon XXX release which pleased my palate.

Black’s Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Several entertaining whiskeys of sourced distillate also went down well.

Black’s Rum. c/othewhiskeynut

Black’s own wholly Irish produced Golden Rum certainly wowed my senses – as well as The World Rum Awards!

Black’s 18yo Rum Cask c/oBlacks

This latest premium 18 Year Old Single Malt has been finished in barrels used to mature that Irish Golden Rum – a world first!

Luckily a sample from Black’s of this limited edition release came my way.

Black’s 18 c/othewhiskeynut

A lovely golden hue.

Gorgeously rich aromas. Thinking rum & raisin, gentle woodiness – yet almost earthy.

Initially sweet & easy notes of soft caramel infused with stronger oakiness coat the palate before the 56% ABV kicks in with a joyful explosion of power.

A prickly tingling of gently drying spiciness faded slowly away.

A very attractive & alluring malt indeed.

Pity it’s a bit beyond my price range!

Sláinte

Black’s Brewery & Distillery kindly supplied the sample.

All views – as always – are my own.

The Busker Whiskey Range, Blend, 40%, Single Grain, Single Malt & Single Pot Still, 44.3%.

Ever since the split between Walsh Whiskey & Illva Saronno over the direction of produce distilled at Royal Oak Distillery – premiumisation vs mass market in my estimation – I’ve noticed far more glowing coverage of Walsh Whiskey – now a sourced brand – over and above Royal Oak – who are one of only a few Irish Whiskey Distilleries able to distill all 4 styles of Irish Whiskey – Blend, Single Grain, Single Malt & Single Pot Still – under one roof.

The fabulous Royal Oak Distillery c/othewhiskeynut

Normally there’s a ‘hoorah’ over a new distillery’s first offerings – but for Royal Oak it was a mere whimper.

The Busker range is widely available in the US.

For now in Ireland it remains in specialist shops.

I was waiting for it to appear in my local supermarket – but opted for a sampler pack from Dick Mac’s Bar instead.

The Busker samples c/othewhiskeynut

The Busker range is entirely Royal Oak’s own distillate – which I’ve yet to witness on the shelves – and is a marvelous milestone in the growing diversity of Irish Whiskey.

The livery of the bottle is bold, striking & contemporary – a refreshing modern look.

The Busker range is available for the attractive price of €40 for the singles & €30 for the blend.

So how did I find them?

Triple Cask Blend c/oTTB/Colasonline

Triple Cask Blend, 40%

Triple distilled, triple cask – bourbon , sherry & marsala – a blend of Single Grain, Single Malt & Single Pot Still.

Quite a rich & fruity aroma. The sherry influence appears to dominate. Juicy fruitiness on the palate – like wine gums. An enjoyable tingling spice on the finish which gradually dries out.

Lovely complexity at a pleasing price.

Single Grain c/oTTB/Colasonline

Single Grain, 44.3%

Bourbon & Marsala cask matured.

Gentle & subtle. Hints of woodiness. Clean & fresh palate. Dries out on the finish with a frisson of spice.

A characterful & engaging single grain.

Single Malt c/oTTB/Colasonline

Single Malt, 44.3%

Bourbon & Sherry cask matured.

Smooth maltiness. Lovely sweet juicines on the palate. A delightful drying spice on the finish.

Easy & engaging.

Single Pot Still c/oTTB/Colasonline

Single Pot Still, 44.3%

Bourbon & Sherry cask matured.

Captivating sweet spiciness. More of those wine gums. More body & woody depth showing through. Lip smacking finish.

Nice!

Thoughts

There’s a common sherry influenced theme running through all these whiskey. A pleasing sweet juiciness followed by a drying spiciness – but for me the added complexity of the single pot still wins out on the day.

A very welcome addition to the growing diversity of Irish Whiskey.

Sláinte

Dundalgan Single Malt, Sherry Edition, 42%

I’d put off trying out the last of the attractively priced Dundalgan Whiskey range mainly as sherry cask finishes are not my top pick.

Sherry Edition Dundalgan c/othewhiskeynut

I found all the others; Blend, Charred Cask, IPA & Stout Edition Single Malts to be highly enjoyable & flavourful.

The Sherry Edition followed suit with a lovely depth of warmth.

An engaging bite to enliven the experience.

All wrapped up with a lovely long lasting succulent finish.

Recently available for the bargain price of €20 – I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging this whiskey is.

A cracker of a malt.

Sláinte

Kingsbarns Balcomie, Single Malt, 46%

The 2nd core release from this award winning Lowland Distillery in Fife, Scotland.

Balcomie c/othewhiskeynut

Now sherry finishes aren’t normally my thing – but as it goes – Balcomie has a rich & inviting nose.

A decent bit of depth on the palate,

& a lively entertaining finish.

Lip smacking!

Sláinte

A St Patrick’s Day Blind Whiskey Tasting

Blind tasting some whiskey on St Patrick’s Day in the midst of a pandemic?

Sure – what else would you be doing?

I had my usual Tuath whiskey glasses, water, pen & paper – and set to it.

In order of appearance are my rather distilled notes – given in italics before the reveal.

c/oMasterOfMalt

A Tullibardine 500, 43%

Grand

c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

B Glendalough Pot Still, 43%

OK

c/oMasterOfMalt

C Auchentoshan Three Wood, 43%

Lacklustre

It became apparent doing the tasting that all struck a similar chord – sherry finished, mild & mellow, easy going & sweet. Attractive for some – but lacking a certain flair on my palate.

Things changed a little with the next pair.

c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

D Writer’s Tears Copper Pot, Japanese Cask, 55%

Bit of a welcome bite & entertainment.

c/oIrishMalts

E WD O’Connell 12 Sherry Series, 59.2%

Almost, but not quite.

The use of Japanese Mizunara & longer maturation times added to the depth, complexity & variety of flavours found in these whiskeys.

I had to re-sample to pick a winner – E WD O’Connell 12 – if only for those tannic woody spices.

c/othewhiskeynut

The tasting further confirmed a few themes with my palate;

Sherry finished whiskey isn’t my forte – but even within that category there can still be a diversity of flavours.

Added caramel dulls the intensity – lacklustre kind of sums that up.

Ageing & higher ABV generally adds to the experience – but not always.

As for the not quite comment – well it wasn’t Bill Phil!

I’d encourage all to sample far & wide. It will hone down your palate preferences, enable you to pick out what works – or doesn’t – & is great fun too!

I’m always open to sample swaps – get in touch.

Sláinte

Honesty & Transparency in the whiskey world.

Honesty & Transparency are current buzzwords in the whiskey world.

The implication being there are dishonest & cloudy whiskeys out there.

But how does this alter the all important factor – taste?

Having always taken these buzzwords as the latest marketing ploy of whichever brands use them – or whiskey fans extolling the virtues of their choice over another – in choosing to blind taste that ‘honesty & transparency’ is turned on it’s head.

Honest Whiskey Samples c/othewhiskey

What whiskey does your palate enjoy?

It’s no longer about what’s written on the label, the limited edition, attractive bottle or price.

It’s simply 4 vials of whiskey, glassware of choice – and your palate.

So into my Túath glass they went!

Transparency in a glass c/othewhiskeynut

A – Pale straw, grand, vanillas & caramel, tad spirity, nice mouthfeel, sherry influence? long lasting finish, lip smacking, very pleasant & easy.

B – Light brown, fruity, easy mouthfeel, softer, flatter on the finish, OK, nothing spectacular.

C – Light brown, nice ex-bourbon cask nose, richness, nice prickly burn on the finish, higher strength? classic bourbon cask.

D – Light brown, nice ex-bourbon nose, richness, hint of woodiness, mixture of sweetness & oaky influence, long lasting, lovely complexity, a decent dram.

My order of preference for the selection had D winning out closely followed by C. A came next with B trailing last.

But what were they?

Reveal c/o@mjpm67

D – Glen Scotia Victoriana, Cask Strength, Single Malt, 54.2%

C – Tipperary Rioja Finish, Single Cask, Single Malt, 57.35%

A – Whistler Mosaic, Single Grain, 46%

B – MVR 2018, Blend, 40%

Happy tasting! c/othewhiskeynut

What ‘honest & transparent’ results would your palate have chosen?

Sláinte

Mourne DEW Miniature Pack, 40% to 43%.

When a particular distillery’s output wins 2 blind tasting sessions – you take notice.

Both Mourne DEW’s Blend and Single Malt stood out for me,

Tasty trio c/othewhiskeynut

So I purchased their miniature set to try them out side by side.

The Kilbroney Gin went down well with my better half,

Kilbroney c/othewhiskeynut

Allowing me to concentrate on the others!

Pooka Poitín, 43%

Pooka c/othewhiskeynut

The colour immediately intrigued me. A pale straw hue – similar to the whiskeys – obviously a bit of barrel ageing going on – 10 weeks is allowed.

An entertaining floral note greeted me – with a hint of woody smoke. Oily smooth mouthfeel with enticing flavours. A touch of nuttiness on the finish topped off with a pleasing drying prickleness.

A rather unique poitín offering – very happy with this one!

Mourne DEW Blend, 40%

Blend c/othewhiskeynut

Like encountering an old friend!

A clean & fresh nose, smooth honeyed palate drying out towards the finish leaving with a tingling spiciness.

A characterful little number!

Mourne DEW Single Malt, 43%

Single Malt c/othewhiskeyut

Just a word on the colour – of the 3 – it appears the palest!

Clearly no caramel here & a relatively young malt – which works well for a peater – as the nose brings me back to sitting by an open turf fire!

What can I say about this one?

A delightfully young & vibrant peater – loved it!

Thoughts

For a small distillery nestled on the pretty banks of Carlingford Lough in Warrenpoint – Mourne DEW are releasing a flavourful range of spirits to charm & entertain.

Happy drinking! c/othewhiskeynut

The Essence Of Mourne – works wonders for me!

Sláinte

Hyde Whiskey Selection x 6, Blends, Single Grain & Single Malt, 46%.

I’ve got to hand it to Hyde Whiskey.

Despite the early controversy over labelling – their whiskey has always rated highly with me winning 2 blind tasting categories in the 2017 Irish Whiskey Awards judging sessions I attended.

Perhaps it’s #allaboutthewood – as their slogan goes.

Or could it be the non chill filtration & no added caramel?

The ‘no added caramel’ isn’t actually stated on the labels – but a perusal of whisky.de – where it’s a requirement to say if caramel is added- reveals none.

Whatever the reasons – my palate enjoys Hyde Whiskey & an opportunity to sample 6 of their current range is a delight.

Tasty line-up! c/othewhiskeynut

Many thanks to Hyde Whiskey for providing the samples. My thoughts – as always – are my own.

Rather than going by release numbers or dates – all Hyde Whiskey carry significant years in Douglas Hyde’s history as well as release numbers – I’m following perceived wisdom in tasting Blends, Single Grain & Single Malt.

All are presented at a pleasing 46%.

Blends

1938 c/othewhiskeynut

No 6, 1938, President’s Reserve, Sherry Cask Finish

Honeyed vanilla, smooth & easy, clean finish with lovely prickliness.

Having given this top rating in the 2017 blind judging it was great to encounter this one again. It didn’t disappoint.

1640 c/othewhiskeynut

No 8, 1640, Heritage Cask, Stout Cask Finish

Crisp & clean, lovely mouth coating, flavours develop on a long finish.

A recent newcomer to the range entering the exciting beer cask finished craze. I found it a very engaging offering.

Single Grain

1916 c/othewhiskeynut

No 3, 1916, The Áras Cask, Single Grain

Rich vanillas, lightness yet full on flavour, classic ex-bourbon cask notes.

I’ve always found this one an attractive whiskey. Love the simplicity & cleanliness of the ex-bourbon maturation which 1916 has in spades.

1860 c/othewhiskeynut

No 5, 1860, The Áras Cask, Burgundy Cask Finish

Dark fruits, easy sweet mellowness, almost like fruit pastels on the finish.

I do find wine finished whiskey a tad too sweet for my palate – but they’re a winner for others. This is a good example.

Single Malt

1893 c/othewhiskeynut

No 7, 1893, President’s Cask, Sherry Cask Matured

Rich sweet fruitiness, silky mouthfeel, notes of sweet plums.

Originally released as a 10 year old, now non age statemented, the sweet tooth flavours still come through very well.

1922 c/othewhiskeynut

No 4, 1922, President’s Cask, Rum Cask Finish

Dark fruitiness, heavier appeal, rich juiciness, touch of spice.

Despite being sweet, the rum finish added depth & body which suited my palate. Very nice!

Thoughts

Trying to choose a favourite among this excellent selection is really down to personal preference with such fine whiskeys.

To narrow it down my winners for each category were;

1938 for the blends,

1916 for single grain &

1922 for single malt.

These whiskey are all winners in my book – but for overall appeal, lovely engaging flavours & attractive bite on the finish – I’m giving top spot to 1938!

What is your preference?

Sláinte

Penderyn Icon Of Wales #6, Royal Welsh Whisky, 43%

Penderyn flies the flag for Welsh Whisky.

Along with a solid core range of single malts to suit all palates,

The Icon Of Wales series continues to highlight aspects of ‘Welshness’ be it in culture, politics, sports or history.

A good whisky doesn’t last for long! c/othewhiskeynut

Attracted to the initial #1 Red Flag release,

It’s always a joy to encounter the latest offering.

Royal Welsh Whisky caught my eye at the lovely Fife Whisky Festival last year.

Royal Welsh Whisky c/othewhiskeynut

Based on an original bottle from the Frongoch Distillery – later to become Frongoch Interment Camp for Irish Republican prisoners – Royal Welsh Whisky exhibits a flavour profile pleasing to my palate – peat.

The historical connections, revival of Welsh Whisky & gorgeous smokey notes all make for a winner to me.

Iechyd dda!

Exploring The Penetration Of Irish Whiskey In The German Supermarket Sector.

A random tweet got me thinking.

Obviously I checked on the link & was blown away by Lidl offering a cask of new make whisky to it’s customers!

Lidl whisky cask c/oLidl.de

My inquisitive mind led me to checking out what else they had.

Let’s put it like this – the depth & spread of whiskies on offer would qualify the shop as being a specialist whiskey outlet in Ireland!

The bare figures are pretty outstanding;

Total bottle selection…………………………..127.

Comprising of;

Scotland…………………………………………………….84

America……………………………………………………..19

Ireland……………………………………………………….10

Japan & Taiwan………………………………………….4 each

Wales & Austria…………………………………………2 each

Canada & South Africa………………………………1 each

At only 8% of the market – Irish Whiskey clearly has a long way to go!

But who was flying the Irish flag?

First off – in order of appearance here – Lidl own brand Dundalgan.

Dundalgan Blend c/oLidl.de

Next up – the ubiquitous Jameson in Original, Black Barrel & Caskmates varieties.

Jameson Original c/oLidl.de

Irishman Single Malt made an appearance.

Irishman c/oLidl.de

Kinahan’s popped up with their tasty Kasc Project.

Kinahan Kasc c/oLidl.de

Kilbeggan followed.

Kilbeggan Blend c/oLidl.de

With Paddy being the last whiskey.

Paddy c/oLidl.de

A couple of liqueurs wrapped up the Irish contingent.

I’d definitely be like a kid in a sweet shop drooling over the extensive choice!

Aldi Sud meanwhile had only 8 whisky on offer – 5 Scotch & 1 each from Japan, Canada & Germany. Ireland didn’t even feature!

Sláinte

Header image c/oextra.ie