Tag Archives: The Jam

Moon Harbour Pier 1, Premium Blended Whisky, 45.8%

Ooh la la!

I happened to be in Paris during the double bill of Bastille Day and France winning the World Cup!

My particular reason for being there was enhanced by both spectacular events and added to a memorable trip.

It therefore seems apt to pour out yet another French Whisky and give it a whirl.

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Pier 1 in a Tuath glass c/othewhiskeynut

Je donne Moon Harbour Pier 1 Premium Blended Whiskey.

Well I say French Whisky – as it’s actually mainly Scotch which has been shipped out in bulk to Bordeaux where – under the guidance of master blender John McDougall – it is finished in locally sourced sauternes casks before being bottled & presented non chill filtered at 45.8%.

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Parlez vous francais? c/othewhiskeynut

There is nothing unusual in this. It’s a well trodden path for Scotch to send out loads of bulk whisky to many countries around the world where it is blended – often with locally produced spirits – matured, finished & eventually bottled to the recipients requirements before being released – mainly in the home market.

Many a Scottish distilleries output is destined for such bottlings – and it’s a big market.

It also allows an up and coming whisky brand – like Moon Harbour – to test the waters, hone their skills and develop their brand in the absence of a distillery which they may – or may not build at a later stage.

Moon Harbour seem to have plans for their own distillery in Bordeaux – so this blend looks likely to be a stop gap until they have their own whisky to sell.

Could it emulate the successful football team and win in a World Cup Whisky tournament?

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Bastille Whiskey in a Tuath glass c/othewhiskeynut

Well – in a back to back with the Bastille Single Malt – I’m afraid Moon Harbour lost out.

It’s certainly packaged in an attractive bottle however – complete with box – has a ruby red hue and displays deep legs.

There wasn’t all that much going on with the nose though. A soft sweet malty biscuit with a hint of grain.

A bit slow to start. The sauternes sweetness swiftly followed by a spirity robustness – quite a nice contrast really.

It left an enjoyable dry prickly heat at the end – but was somewhat lacking in depth of flavour & character. Perhaps the sauternes finish was just too subtle for my tastes.

If it had been presented without ‘Premium’ on the label and at a lower price I might have been OK with the result.

As it was it promised more than it actually delivered.

I do hope Moon Harbour get the distillery going however. I find it entertaining sampling all whiskies – especially new brands with a local twist – and welcome the diversity created by new distilleries.

It’s why I enjoy whisky, and despite not being a football fan, I did get a buzz of excitement watching the cup final on a sunny afternoon in a Parisian hotel garden with congenial company washed down with a whisky or two.

Sláinte.

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Freeney’s, Galway.

Freeney’s is another one of those lovely old bars that genuinely look like the modern world outside just passed them by. It didn’t pass The Jam by however.

The gently worn wooden panels along the bar have the imprint of many happy customers – the shelves gently sag with the weight of a wealth of whiskey – the open fire gently warms the lounge area – what is there not to like about the inside of this establishment?

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Freeney’s whiskey bar c/othewhiskeynut

As by now is a habit of mine – my original choice of whiskey was not available – well not in a glass anyway.

Michael Collins Single Malt is another one of those discontinued Cooley expressions that are out there. I previously polished off a bottle of the enjoyable Michael Collins Blend and was intrigued to find out if the single was equally as good.

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My empty Micheal Collins Blend c/othewhiskeynut

Alas – they only sold it by the bottle.

Freeney’s doubles as an off-licence too – and despite being tempted – this expression is increasingly difficult to get hold of – I reminded myself there were another 4 pubs to visit on my Galway Whiskey Trail adventure and perhaps lugging around a full and fragile bottle of whiskey perhaps wasn’t the wisest thing to do considering my increasingly intoxicated state.

Again I scanned the shelves – trying to figure out which expressions were sold by the bottle and those by the glass – and spotted yet another Cooley brand – Irish Fiddler.

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Irish Fiddler Whiskey c/otwitter

As the bottle looked half empty I was confident that a dram would soon be procured for my pleasure. Indeed it was – and in a Glencairn glass too – something which the more discerning whiskey bars provide and pleases me as well.

Irish Fiddler Whiskey turned out to be a fairly decent example of a soft – sweet Irish blended whiskey. The grain element wasn’t overpowering but then neither was the overall taste or finish. Another standard blend produced by Cooley for a third party – something the distillery excelled in under the tenure of John Teeling – just who is satisfying this market now?

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Whiskey display and regulars in Freeney’s c/othewhiskeynut

The photos I fired off at this pub were a little off focus when I viewed them a few days later – obviously mirroring my deteriorating senses due to the lovely whiskeys I’d enjoyed.

Despite all that – Freeney’s is a bar I’ve visited before in my pre-whiskey love affair days – and is a bar I’ll certainly be going back to in the future.

Sláinte,

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