It’s great to see the independent drinks specialist Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) launch a course in Ireland courtesy of Spirits Training.
When I completed my Spirits Level 2 module a while ago I visited the UK to sit the exam.
It shows a growing appreciation of and increasing demand for the spirits sector in Ireland.
My extra curricular training in Manchester proved to be very entertaining nonetheless! Visit my blog here.
The Spirits Level 2 course doesn’t just cover whiskey – all distilled spirit categories including Gin, Vodka, Brandy, Mezcal & more are explored.
Many I’d little knowledge of – let alone tasted – which is an integral part of training.
I grew to understand each sector has it’s own rules & regulations, history & customs, as well as creative interpretations & representations of those traditions across the world.
At the end of the day however – it all came down to which spirits excited my palate.
One I’d never encountered before was Grappa.
Grappa – by definition – is an Italian based spirit distilled from grapes – the leftovers that is from wine production – or pomace as it’s known – and tends to be made by small producers.
The only grappa I could easily find in Ireland was by Luigi Francoli in my local O’Brien’s store.
Presented in an attractive bottle at 41.5%, it stated the grape varietals used – Muscato e Brachetto – as well as ‘Barrique’ aged – in contrast to the usual unaged Grappa’s.
Oh – the distillery was founded in 1875.
The grape influence was evident – but not in a sweet way – which usually puts me off – more of a nutty, earthy kind of experience.
A lovely soft mouthfeel grew in depth adding fruitiness & more of that nuttiness too – before finishing with a gentle spiciness to add character.
I’d happily enjoy one or two of these after a meal – which is the custom – and possibly explore other offerings as well.
If anything the WSET Spirits course has expanded both my knowledge of the spirits world & introduced my palate to a greater repertoire of tasting experiences.
Isn’t it about time you did the course?