Tag Archives: Tuath Glass

The Irishman, Founder’s Reserve, Blend, 40%

At one time I had a whole box of miniatures – they’re almost all gone now.

This Irishman Founder’s Reserve is the core blend from Walsh Whiskey.

I’ve always enjoyed it – even against their single malts.

Perhaps the 30% single pot still component adds a touch of depth & spice to the remaining 70% single malt mix?

Perhaps the rich, creamy viscosity enhances the experience?

Whatever.

The old adage ‘ greater than the sum of it’s parts’ certainly holds true for Founder’s Reserve.

Worth checking out.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Ballykeefe Irish Poitín, 40%

Ballykeefe Distillery in County Kilkenny promote themselves as a grain to glass operation.

The barley for this poitín – same as their out-of-my-reach whiskey – is grown on the farm.

They’re into ‘traditionality, environmentalism’ & ‘family values’.

Quite how that translates into flavour will have to wait for my first sip!

The nose is quite soft & new makey. Nothing unusual for a barley based poitín.

Very smooth on the palate. No harshness here!

On the finish I’m embraced by a warming hug of heat!

Delightfully engaging & a very friendly introduction to the poitín category.

Picked this one up at a local SuperValu in the metropolis of Moate.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Reflections on finishing a bottle of Tullamore DEW 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish, Single Malt, 46%

I’ve been making a concerted effort to reduce my number of bottles – hovering around 60 open with another 40 in waiting – & have taken to offering them as sample exchanges or gifts.

Cognisant also that whiskey can deteriorate if not stored properly I was taken aback at my hand scribbled date of ‘June ‘15’ on the box of this one!

Irish Whiskey – and indeed Tullamore DEW – was in a different place back then!

The number of whiskey distilleries releasing matured product in 2015 could be counted on the digits of one hand – now you’d need more than 3 pairs!

Tullamore DEW itself – after having been acquired by William Grants in 2010 – had only completed construction of it’s distillery in Tullamore in 2014.

Tullamore DEW’s success as a brand has been built entirely on sourced product – mainly from Midleton Distillery, although this 12yo Sherry Cask is reputed to be Bushmills distillate.

Today in 2022 clearly the new Tullamore Distillery’s output is mature enough to end up in it’s offerings – yet there’s been no fanfare to announce this.

Instead a seamless takeover from the previous Midleton incarnations to the new Tullamore offerings has prevailed – undoubtedly aided by the skill of the distillery team to create a perfect replica of the previous bottlings.

After all, when you’re the custodian of the 2nd most popular selling brand of Irish Whiskey in the World – why change a winning formula?

I pondered on all of these things while enjoying the last few – & thankfully very well preserved – drops of this 12yo Sherry Cask.

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Sheep Dip Islay, Blended Malt, 40%

Sheep Dip’s an old friend of mine.

The tongue-in-cheek name attracted me to this blended malt & was rewarded with an easy going honeyed experience augmented by a rich maltiness.

An Islay version caught my eye – a kind reader generously sent a sample.

The peat smoke was evident – but rather subdued.

More entertaining on the palate. Crisp, sweet & drying.

It’s on the finish that Islay Sheep Dip came alive for me. A gorgeous explosion of smokey goodness danced merrily away to a lip smacking finalé.

Nice!

Another entertaining brand from the Ian MacLeod stable.

Sláinte

Islay bottle image courtesy CelticWhiskeyShop. All others authors own.

A JJ Corry tweet tasting.

It was lovely be be reacquainted with JJ Corry Whiskey again.

As part of the Celtic Whiskey Club tweet tastings, samples of The Flintlock Batch 3 & The Hanson were enjoyed.

Having paid a visit to JJ Corry even before their first release hit the market – it’s been wonderful to watch their growth in the category.

Specialising in small batch exclusive releases using distillate from numerous sources & matured in their own barrels on site at Cooraclare – JJ Corry Whiskey is always a delight to savour.

Capturing the ‘transparency & honesty’ brigade with additional information & stories – I prefer to let the whiskey speak to my palate for appraisal.

The clarity, freshness, delicateness & even lusciousness of the flavours of JJ Corry can only come about by foregoing chill filtering & added caramel.

The 46% sweet spot – the ABV point where the whiskey doesn’t go cloudy with ice – also adds a degree of bite & excitement.

The Hanson – a blended grain – delights in light delicate flavours showcasing warm woody notes complimented by sweet grainy distillate.

The Flintlock – a single malt – displays a deeper dark stone fruitiness coupled with hints of leather from the long ageing in ex-bourbon & sherry casks.

The tasting ended all too soon – luckily I had some reserves!

An unlabelled bottle containing a long forgotten sample of JJ Corry Whiskey.

Exhibiting a slight oiliness with a gentle soft smokey kiss on the finish – this one easily became my favourite!

Could it be The Battalion? A blended whiskey finished in ex-tequila & mezcal casks?

Who knows?

What I do know is that JJ Corry release a fabulous range of whiskey to sip, savour & enjoy.

Sláinte

Bottle images courtesy CelticWhiskeyShop, others authors own.

Northern Exposure, An Exploration Of Northern Irish Whiskey – Mainly – Via Blind Tasting.

Northern Irish Whiskey isn’t a separate category – although shifting political structures between Ireland, UK & Europe might influence that.

Presented before me were 5 sample bottles, below are 5 impressions in italics before the reveal & the 5 bottles uncovered.

Bréifne – Hinch Single Pot Still, 43%

Pale straw. Intriguing nice deep nose. Clean, fresh, spicey & sweet. Rye like finish. Nice!

The spice was so intense & lively I could’ve mistaken this for a rye whiskey! Hinch SPS is a sourced product while their own distillate matures. Really enjoyable.

Slemish – Powers Distiller’s Cut, 43.2%

Dark straw. Clean, sweet dark fruits. Shy palate. Nice depth & spice on the finish. Yeah!

Of the 3 Midleton brands, Jameson, Paddy & Powers, Powers has always been my favourite. This blind tasting only appears to confirm this with the latest UK Distiller’s Cut edition.

Iveagh – Kirker & Greer, 10 Year Old Single Grain, 43%

Golden brown. Expressive. Wine cask influence? Warm, inviting. Soft finish. Spice on rear. Interesting.

Kirker & Greer are a Belfast based independent bottling company revitalising an old tradition. An easy going single grain offering.

Donard – Bushmills American Cask Finish, 40%

Dark straw. Mild, mellow & sweet. Smooth easy palate. Touch of spice on rear. Grand.

I’d have to congratulate Bushmills on releasing some new bottles to market & updating their core range labels – even if I found this one rather ‘pedestrian’.

Oriel – Bushmills Caribbean Rum Cask Finish, 40%

Dark straw. Cookie dough. Slightly muddy. Smooth, mellow & soft. Short finish. Not exciting.

Sadly this one just wasn’t for me.

Thoughts

I had an entertaining evening picking out the flavours from this quintet of whiskey.

There was a clear winner – as well as loser – on my palate with the middle 3 being somewhat closer in experience.

In terms of trends my palate appears to favour the spicey side of things – usually non chill filtered & natural colour helps too. Which partly explains the poor showing of Bushmills here.

The tasting also shows no division regarding sourced or distillery product in enjoyment of the whiskey.

The tasting is what it’s all about at Whiskey Nut.

Sláinte

Images courtesy CelticWhiskeyShop, WhiskyExchange, @_PMcDermott & authors own.

St Rémy VSOP, French Brandy, 40%

Doing the Wine & Spirit Education Trust – WSET – Level 2 Spirits Course a few years ago opened my palate to spirit categories I hadn’t appreciated before.

Brandy being one of them.

This St Rémy bottle is a leftover from that course.

You have to taste a variety of spirits to pick out the characteristics of each category.

It looks like a whiskey.

The nose is sweet & fruity.

Soft, smooth & mellow on the palate.

Finishes with a gentle oaky spice.

An easy approachable drinker to sit back & mull over – if it wasn’t for the phylloxera epidemic of the 1860’s that wiped out most of the grapevines worldwide – could brandy have been as big as whiskey?

Sláinte

All images authors own.

Carlos I, Solera Gran Reserva, Brandy de Jerez, 40%

My wife brought me back this miniature from Spain a few years ago.

Never got round to tasting it – until now.

Plummy sweet nose with a solid earthy feel.

Sweet & easy palate with a slight nuttiness.

Lovely turn of earthy spice on the rear.

Beats any brandy I’ve had before!

One to sip & savour.

Sláinte

Flight Of The Earls, Irish Whiskey, 40% to 63.48%

When Red Earl first appeared with it’s cartoon like imagery it was somewhat overlooked.

c/o TinyTipple

Now available in 4 differing styles. – with varying images too – The Flight of the Earls make for a striking posse of whiskey.

It’s about time I discovered the flavours behind the brand – so ordered up a tasting pack from Tiny Tipple.

Red Earl, 40%

A blend aged in bourbon, sherry & rioja casks.

Warm, inviting & fruity sweet nose. Juicy mouthfeel with a lip smacking finish.

A lovely well balanced flavoursome blend.

c/o KinsaleSpiritCo

Great Earl, 40%

A single grain aged in recharred & virgin oak barrels, finished in Sangiovese casks.

A dry, clean & clear nose. The wine influence makes it’s presence felt on the palate followed by a lovely frisson of oaky spice on the rear.

Nice!

c/o KinsaleSpiritCo

Spanish Earl, 43%

A single malt matured in bourbon casks & finished in rum & stout casks.

Yum yum – a juicy depth to this one! Rich maltiness on the palate with a solid backbone of darker delights. Opens up further on the finish with a spicy prickle, soft hints of roastiness & an engaging dryness.

Red Earl, Cask Strength, 63.48%

A cask strength version of the Red Earl blend.

Despite the high ABV the nose is still inviting – with just a suggestion of high alcohol presence. The triple cask maturation notes roll over each other in a wonderful flourish of flavour – before a drying hit of alcohol kicks in with an explosion of power.

I don’t subscribe to the notion cask strength is automatically superior to 40% – but Red Earl CS wears it well.

Thoughts

The Flight of Earls impressed me.

Full of flavour, full of style & a hearty bunch of characters too.

The pale colour of the quartet also points to a lack of added caramel.

It’s a delight to taste them all back to back to explore both the differences – & similarities – that run through the collection.

It’s hard to pick a winner from this flight of beauties – but for me the ease of drinking, clarity of flavours & enjoyable flair on the finish – I’m giving it to Great Earl.

What would you choose?

Sláinte

Images authors own unless stated.

Galway Irish Whiskey, 40%

A range of miniature Irish Whiskey labelled up in Irish County colours make for an entertaining gift.

I picked mine up at the Celtic Whiskey Shop.

Galway is pale straw in colour.

Has a soft honeyed aroma.

Smooth & mellow in the mouth.

With an engaging hint of spice on the finish.

No mention regards source – but reminds me of the best blended Cooley used to offer.

An easy drinking Irish Whskey.

Sláinte

All images authors own.