Tag Archives: Stout

Sierra Nevada, Narwhal, Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, 11.9%

Dark – very dark.

Aromas of coffee, sweet vanilla & molasses.

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Sierra Nevada Narwhal c/othewhiskeynut

Almost nitro smoothness on the palate.

For such a high strength ABV offering this is quite a light experience.

Despite it’s full year in bourbon barrels – I didn’t pick up a noticeable bourbon influence.  Truth is – I got more of a rum vibe going.

Those heavy – slightly burnt –  molasses combined with rich dark brown demerara sweetness were actually more suited to the Narwhal & pirate ship motif displayed on the eye-catching can!

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Beast of a Beer c/othewhiskeynut

A ‘beast of a beer’ indeed!

Sláinte

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Velvet Cap Irish Whiskey, Blend, 40%

Well I’ve gotta hand it to Peter Mulryan & all the team at Blackwater Distillery for launching a sourced volume bonders blend & getting it seriously appraised by the Whiskey Nerd community.

Many other similarly styled brands are regularly lambasted.

But first to the whiskey.

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Velvet Cap c/othewhiskeynut

A rich reddy brown hue with an invitingly warm hug of a nose.

The palate had a depth & complexity resplendent of the port, stout & rye cask finishing having worked their magic.

A touch of drying spiciness at the end added a final flourish to this characterful little blend.

An easy, entertaining & accessible whiskey that fulfills the brief Blackwater intended.

The much publicised launch coupled with the delightful sample package ensured a wide audience for the Facebook Live event.

Peter gave a fairly precise potted history of both the origins of Velvet Cap – as well as a synopsis of the modern Irish Whiskey Industry.

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Velvet Cap sample c/othewhiskeynut

I welcome the growing diversity of styles, brands & flavours coming out of this wonderful renaissance in Irish Whiskey globally.

The rather narrow & monopolistic view that defined Irish Whiskey of the recent past is inhibiting the future growth today.

The mantra of honesty & transparency is leading to some entertaining avenues – and focuses the debate onto what is or isn’t written on the label – rather than on what the whiskey actually tastes like.

Does a whiskey that says the ‘wrong’ things taste worse than any others?

An emphatic NO from Whiskey Nut.

Hyde came in for a lot of criticism on this front.

Interestingly in blind tastings, the brand always scored highly on my palate, irrespective of the labelling – which has been amended.

The blended whiskey market is a crowded category. Most of the people purchasing these brands are not whiskey nerds.

The finer details of the sales patter, cask maturation, mashbill composition or distillery of source may not be to the fore here – but taste & accessibility might.

Taste is very subjective.

An interesting analysis of taste came my way recently. A worthy read.

So when someone says;

‘I’m enjoying Velvet Cap’

It’s better than 500 words of BS any day!

Sláinte

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Hyde #8, 1640, Stout Cask Finished Irish Whiskey, 46%

There’s been an explosion of Irish Whiskeys finished in a growing variety of Irish Beer Casks.

I welcome the diversity & exploration of flavours emanating from these collaborations – especially when the beers in question tend to be locally produced craft beers such as the Cotton Ball Stout used in this new Hyde #8 release.

Now I usually like to taste the donor beer – but in this instance the closest I got was this lágar from Cotton Ball Brewing.

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Pride in locality c/othewhiskeynut

Rather than picking up the bitter or slightly burnt notes often found in a stout – Hyde #8 has a noticeable sweet caramel nose together with a smooth & rich honeyed palate rounded up with a darker & heavier biscuity malt feel.

I must admit to already being a fan of Hyde Whiskey.

Their offerings consistently score highly in my blind tasting sessions for the Irish Whiskey Awards.

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Hyde No 8 Heritage Cask c/othewhiskeynut

I put it down to the 46% non chill filtered presentation across the range which to my palate at least, seems to draw out a depth of character & stronger flavours in the whiskey.

I really enjoyed the balance between the sweet start & heavier malt mid palate combined with a pleasant peppery spice leading into a lovely prickly finish with hints of sweet stone fruitiness.

Great to see Hyde Whiskey expand their range with yet another tasty tipple!

Sláinte

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Many thanks to Conor Hyde for supplying the sample bottle for this blog.

Dubliner Whiskey, Beer Cask Series, Blends, 40%

The recently opened Dublin Liberties Distillery launched a trio of beer cask finished whiskeys at a highly enjoyable & entertaining event held in the fabulous bar at the distillery itself.

Based on the original bourbon cask matured Dubliner Whiskey the limited edition Beer Cask Series have been finished in casks formerly maturing a variety of Irish Craft Beers.

I managed a small taster of those beers.

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O’Hara’s Leann Folláin Irish Stout c/othewhiskeynut

O’Haras Leann Folláin Irish Stout at 8.1% is a full on bourbon cask matured belter of a brew. Full of heavy dark chocolate & molasses this appealed to my tastes.

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5 Lamps Brewdolf c/othewhiskeynut

5 Lamps Brewdolf at 9% is a worthy contender too. Based on an amber barley wine finished in bourbon casks there were sweet fruity notes balancing the darker & heavier elements.

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Rascals Irish Coffee Stout c/othewhiskeynut

Rascals Irish Coffee Stout at 4.8% has a wonderful coffee aroma on the nose that doesn’t quite follow through on the palate. Having said that – I’m not a big fan of coffee – so this offering isn’t to my palate.

A variety of cocktails were served on the evening – some tasty titbits – a compered introduction to the whiskeys (and the collaborative beers) by none other than Darryl McNally, Master Distiller of Dublin Liberties Distillery himself – as well as the folks behind the craft beers too – all seamlessly guided along by the dulcet tones of Today FM DJ Ed Smith of Ed’s Songs Of Praise fame.

Rebels, Rascals and Raconteurs indeed!

Sampling the whiskey had to wait for later as I was driving – but this is what I found.

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Samples at the ready! c/othewhiskeynut

Oh, my test bottles were kindly filled by Dublin Liberties Distillery on the evening.

Dubliner Irish Coffee Stout Whiskey

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The blue one c/othewhiskeynut

Lovely warm bourbon cask notes with a subtle depth & clean fresh grainy sweetness. Bit spirity but enjoying the clarity with underlying warmth. Soft prickly spice on a long finish.

Dubliner Irish Stout Whiskey

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The golden one c/othewhiskeynut

Deeper, darker & more malty nose. A heavier mouthfeel. The malt has been accentuated & grain mellowed. Long smooth finish.

Dubliner Irish Red Ale Whiskey

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The red one c/othewhiskeynut

Slight sweet fruit off the nose which follows through on the palate. The malt comes through cleanly. Long lasting flavoursome finish.

Well well well!

In a reversal of my findings on the beer from which they came – I think I’d go for the Irish Coffee Stout Whiskey as my favourite!

The combination of the clear sweet grain with a nice depth on the malt & just a hint of coffee in the background proved a winning combination over the smoother & darker elements of the others.

All were very enjoyable blends & quite distinctively different in the ways they presented on the palate.

Just goes to show what a few months in wood can achieve!

What is your favourite?

Sláinte

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