Tag Archives: Smoke

La Medida, Mezcal Artesanal Joven, 40%

I enjoy exploring Mezcal.

Rather than use 1 type of agave for distillation like Tequila – Mezcal uses up to 40 different varietals offering a far wider flavour spectrum.

Mezcal Artesanal must also prepare that agave – agave angustifolia for La Medida – in earthen or stone pits giving a smoky element to the product – which attracts me.

There’s a stack of information on the back label – but how it tastes is paramount to me – so I poured a glass.

The earthy agave notes are quite soft & subtle, augmented by a gentle smokiness which enticed.

Smooth oily mouthfeel slowly develops an engaging dry vegetal smoke giving a warm embrace to the proceedings.

Leaves with a dry prickly pepper fading away.

La Medida is a well balanced offering showcasing a complex interplay between the vegetal agave notes & those fabulous smoky vibes.

Very engaging!

Sláinte

For an explanation of Mezcal rules read here.

La Medida website here.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, Märzen, 5.1%

I’m smitten with Märzen.

Smoky heaven c/othewhiskeynut

The smoky BBQ flavours just win me over.

Using barley dried over a beechwood log fire – the richness, depth & above all – smokiness – of this traditional German style screams out YES to my palate.

Smokebeer! c/othewhiskeynut

I’ve moved over to the Rauchbier side!

Prost!

Raisthorpe Manor, Game Keepers Tipple, Blend, 40% & The English Smokey, Single Malt, 43%

I’m working my way through a rather large lockdown purchase of miniatures.

They were chosen to try out spirits I’d not encountered before & have proved very entertaining.

These 2 whiskies are English based.

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The cheeky chappy enjoys a pleasant whisky. c/othewhiskeynut

Raisthorpe Manor are a fine food & drinks company operating from a farm in Yorkshire. Their Game Keepers Tipple is a sourced Scottish blend & comes in a handy flask shaped bottle to match the humorous character on the label.

Light brown in colour.

Displays a very mild honeyed nose.

The palate is sweet & mellow with a good mouthfeel & pleasing depth of flavour. It reminded me of a Highland style.

A touch of spice on the rear appealed to me.

A very pleasant easy sipper.

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Delightful light smoke. c/othewhiskeynut

The English Smokey is distilled in Norfolk.

I’ve previously encountered their Chapter 15 heavily peated offering & was impressed. This is a milder version.

Softly peated aromas greet you.

Mild on the palate, the smoke gradually rises in intensity leaving a drying mouthfeel.

A lasting prickly tingling wraps up this lovely single malt.

Very nice.

I couldn’t say either are outstanding – but both are very engaging.

Anything with smoke almost automatically wins out for me – but Raisthorpe’s Game Keeper performed admirably.

Fine whiskies indeed!

Sláinte

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La Penca, Joven Mezcal, Con Gusano, 40%

Have you ever encountered a spirit that simply reels you in with seductive aromas?

Entices you with fabulous flavours?

Entertains as it dances merrily on your palate?

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Smoking Mezcal c/othewhiskeynut

Well that’s how La Penca struck me.

Simmering smokiness on the nose.

Smooth earthy agave intermingling with campfire warmth.

The embers gently fading away in a cosy embrace.

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And no, I declined the worm! c/othewhiskeynut

Should have bought the large bottle!

Sheer delight.

Sláinte

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Joven is young or unaged.

Con Gusano is with worm

La Penca uses Salmiana agave for distillation.

 

Galway Bay, Märzen To The Fire, 5.5%

Smoke isn’t exclusively either peat – nor restricted to whiskey.

The fuel used to dry the barley – or other grains – imparts a wide variety of flavours to the resultant beverage.

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Smokin’ c/othewhiskeynut

For this Galway Bay Märzen – a popular style of German lager – beechwood is the choice.

I was keen to sample the results.

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Beechwood smoked. c/othewhiskeynut

There’s an element of trompe l’oeil going on here.

You expect a dark, heavy ale – but get a light, refreshing lager overlaid with a soft, attractive wood fired smokiness.

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Ingredients c/othewhiskeynut

An excellent accompaniment to those lazy sunny afternoon BBQ’s.

Sláinte

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Dunnes Stores Traditional Whiskey Smoked Irish Ham

If you’re out shopping for some sliced ham – as I was – and you come across a Whiskey Smoked one – there can only be one response – buy it!

Now it might be a gimmick.

It might not be up to much.

But it sure is worth a punt!

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A proper sandwich. c/othewhiskeynut

I happily slapped a few slices in a sandwich layered with mayonnaise for a taster.

Very nice!

To be fair no whiskey has been used in the smoking. It’s the whiskey wood chips that provide the fuel source for the aromatic smoke after the spirited liquid has been removed.

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3 days maturation – sorry – curing! c/othewhiskeynut

Trying the ham ‘neat’ did reveal some subtle smokiness which gave welcome added flavour.

Suited my palate just fine!

Sláinte

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Monte Alban, 100% Agave, Mezcal, 40%

One of the most innovative & interesting new whiskeys I managed to sample at the recent Whiskey Live Dublin event was a 10 year old grain finished in ex-Mezcal casks.

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Innovation in an Irish Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

Mezcal might not be familiar to many – I only recently sampled one myself – hence I thought it timely to explore this drink.

Mezcal is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant. It has Geographical Indication status and must be made in Mexico.

Mezcal has a long history & tradition involving roasting pits to process the raw agave. The addition of agave fibres to boost flavour during fermentation and distillation in pot stills made of clay – at least for the highest grade of Ancestral Mezcal.

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Mexican Mezcal c/othewhiskeynut

The Monte Alban before me would be an entry level Mezcal – it’s all I could find at my local store – and is produced in Mexico for the Sazerac group.

The nose is very pungent with heavy deep earthy notes complimented by a mere wisp of smoke.

Very smooth & approachable on the palate. The earthy aromas dominate in an oily mouthfeel which slowly dries out leaving a lovely ash laden quality on the long finish.

I found this a very satisfying and intriguing spirit.

One that pulls me in.

I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what Mezcal flavours come through in the final mix of the retail version Mezcal finished Irish Whiskey from JJ Corry.

Sláinte

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