Picked up this older looking Jameson on my travels.
Honeyed, mild & mellow.
Inoffesivity defines the experience.
Picked up this older looking Jameson on my travels.
Honeyed, mild & mellow.
Inoffesivity defines the experience.
I’ve got to hand it to Hyde Whiskey.
Despite the early controversy over labelling – their whiskey has always rated highly with me winning 2 blind tasting categories in the 2017 Irish Whiskey Awards judging sessions I attended.
Perhaps it’s #allaboutthewood – as their slogan goes.
Or could it be the non chill filtration & no added caramel?
The ‘no added caramel’ isn’t actually stated on the labels – but a perusal of whisky.de – where it’s a requirement to say if caramel is added- reveals none.
Whatever the reasons – my palate enjoys Hyde Whiskey & an opportunity to sample 6 of their current range is a delight.
Many thanks to Hyde Whiskey for providing the samples. My thoughts – as always – are my own.
Rather than going by release numbers or dates – all Hyde Whiskey carry significant years in Douglas Hyde’s history as well as release numbers – I’m following perceived wisdom in tasting Blends, Single Grain & Single Malt.
All are presented at a pleasing 46%.
No 6, 1938, President’s Reserve, Sherry Cask Finish
Honeyed vanilla, smooth & easy, clean finish with lovely prickliness.
Having given this top rating in the 2017 blind judging it was great to encounter this one again. It didn’t disappoint.
No 8, 1640, Heritage Cask, Stout Cask Finish
Crisp & clean, lovely mouth coating, flavours develop on a long finish.
A recent newcomer to the range entering the exciting beer cask finished craze. I found it a very engaging offering.
No 3, 1916, The Áras Cask, Single Grain
Rich vanillas, lightness yet full on flavour, classic ex-bourbon cask notes.
I’ve always found this one an attractive whiskey. Love the simplicity & cleanliness of the ex-bourbon maturation which 1916 has in spades.
No 5, 1860, The Áras Cask, Burgundy Cask Finish
Dark fruits, easy sweet mellowness, almost like fruit pastels on the finish.
I do find wine finished whiskey a tad too sweet for my palate – but they’re a winner for others. This is a good example.
No 7, 1893, President’s Cask, Sherry Cask Matured
Rich sweet fruitiness, silky mouthfeel, notes of sweet plums.
Originally released as a 10 year old, now non age statemented, the sweet tooth flavours still come through very well.
No 4, 1922, President’s Cask, Rum Cask Finish
Dark fruitiness, heavier appeal, rich juiciness, touch of spice.
Despite being sweet, the rum finish added depth & body which suited my palate. Very nice!
Trying to choose a favourite among this excellent selection is really down to personal preference with such fine whiskeys.
To narrow it down my winners for each category were;
1938 for the blends,
1916 for single grain &
1922 for single malt.
These whiskey are all winners in my book – but for overall appeal, lovely engaging flavours & attractive bite on the finish – I’m giving top spot to 1938!
What is your preference?
Back in 2007 Kilbeggan released a 15 Year Old Finest Irish Whiskey complete with stylish bottle & packaging to commemorate 250 years of distilling history at the Kilbeggan Distillery in County Westmeath.
It was very well received at the time & went on to win many awards.
Being a rather limited release it attracted a lot of buyers who stored it for intended resale, for a special occasion or just collecting.
Luckily I knew someone who’d actually opened it to enjoy the delights within.
Very generously – I managed a sample!
Now there are always dangers when storing whiskey – and this became evident on the nose with a slight fustiness going on among an otherwise attractive nuttiness.
The palate was soft, smooth & easy with a touch of woody spice going on in the rear.
A gorgeous juiciness finished up the proceedings.
A lovely little drop indeed – although that slight fusty note on the nose suggests it’s not ageing well.
If you enjoy your whiskey – perhaps drinking it soon after purchase is recommended.
Aldi are upping their spirits game.
Established brands are now hitting the shelves in addition to Aldi’s own offerings.
Bacoo 4yo does the honours for rum.
Presented in an attractively embossed bottle – common throughout the range – Bacoo offers ‘Made with Fresh Cane Juice’ & ‘Aged in Ex-Bourbon Barrels’ as temptation.
Fresh & fruity notes greeted me, touches of sugarcane grassiness, slight funk & dollops of demerara too.
Vanillas & caramel dominated the palate over that sweet sugarcane base.
A flourish of welcoming spice wrapped up this smooth – if rather sugar heavy offering.
A fun, easy going rum vying for sweet dessert status.
It’s World Baijiu Day on August 9th.
My journey to baijiu took a long road.
The first steps were probably progressing from large volume generic lager to flavoursome craft beers – then moving beyond easily available whiskey to seek out new & unusual styles & tastes.
Along the way fellow imbibers gave recommendations. Like a young couple from China suggested at an AllTech Craft Brew Fair a few years ago.
Impressed they had travelled to Dublin to explore our whiskey – they in return suggested I explore their spirit – baijiu.
I can’t say their ‘Feitian’ Moutai blew me away at the time – although certainly intriguing. The cost meanwhile at around €220 was a bit of a barrier & didn’t elicit further investigation.
For a spirit that’s the most consumed in the world – there had to be other offerings.
Asia Market in Dublin sold a handy 100ml bottle of baijiu at an affordable price – so I went for it.
At €55 for 500ml – it’s not exactly cheap – but it comes with an impressive back story of heritage, culture and an astounding sales record. Oh – I’ve also paid more for whiskey.
The packaging is very attractive – a garish outer box complete with a stylish ceramic bottle.
When poured the liquid is clear & colourless with thick oily legs.
It’s immediately apparent Kweichow Prince has a far more distinctively aromatic appeal. There’s a hint of sweetness & a strong savoury note going on too. Certainly in marked contrast to the whiskeys I enjoy.
The palate is pleasingly smooth with a wholesome mouthfeel. More of those vegetal savoury notes come through. I found them quite pronounced, earthy & possessing an unusual solidity to them.
The 53% ABV added a prickliness on the rear – which didn’t detract from those bold flavours dancing away on the long finish.
I’m pleased my spirit of adventure has taken me on this journey of discovery.
Wherever you are.
Happy World Baijiu Day!
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?
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.
Should have bought the large bottle!
Joven is young or unaged.
Con Gusano is with worm.
La Penca uses Salmiana agave for distillation.
Update!!! On January 4th 2022 Ireland implemented a Minimum Unit Pricing policy on alcohol. The minimum price for a 37.5% rum in 700ml bottles will now be around €21.
There’s some tasty bargains to be had for under €20 – if you’re prepared to explore.
Contrary to popular myths these supermarket offerings certainly don’t all taste the same – and nor are they short on flavour either!
Today’s comparison are 3 White Rums currently available from 3 large multiples across Ireland.
All are presented at 37.5% ABV with minimal information as regards distillery of origin or processes used.
Old Hopking from Aldi, ‘Bottled In Germany’, failed to excite me.
A floral nose – reminiscent of gin – put me off & the taste was rather bland too.
JG Kinsey from Dunnes, ‘Bottled In The UK’ with ‘Imported Caribbean Rum’ impressed.
A soft funky aroma followed through on the palate with a pleasing peppery finish.
Liberté from Lidl & ‘The Réunion’ proved enticing.
An impressive fruity funk flowed through both the nose & palate finishing of with a joyful prickliness.
For elegantly displaying the essence of rum, Liberté is my winner – with JG Kinsey a close 2nd.
I’d happily buy both again.
You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a tasty rum!
Shefford Manor was a popular drinking den during the prohibition era – at least according to the story on the label of this Canadian Rye.
Very pale in colour – even for ‘Aged 3 Years’.
The aroma was quite dry. Not a lot going on. A bit spirity & young.
Entertaining on the palate though.
Candyfloss sweet. A lush mouthwatering spice crept in leaving a prickly finish.
There was a smoothness to the rye. A depth not expected on such a young offering.
A pleasant enough sipper.
Virtually every UK supermarket has their own brand range of spirits.
Commonly referred to as ‘bottom shelf’ – I’d uncovered a few delightful diamonds in this category & I’m always happy to hunt for more.
Returning from a short trip to Donegal the Asda in Strabane beckoned me.
Their own brand whisky had sold out – is that a sign of quality? – so I pivoted to rum.
‘Superior Quality Blend, Fine Dark Navy Rum, Sourced From The Caribbean’ is the full title, came in a plastic bottle.
Is this a thing now & would it put you off?
At less than £6 for a half bottle – it didn’t deter me.
Could Asda deliver the goods?
Possessing that burnt rubber aroma – previously encountered before – didn’t win me over.
The palate was a little better. Soft, smooth, good mouthfeel & a slight prickly spice on the finish – but that heavy treacly note persisted.
If it floats your boat – fine – but it just sank mine.
Not my cup of tea!
To access the political North from here you travel South.
TinCup American Whiskey proudly displays it’s Colorado heritage on the attractively embossed bottle – as well as the marketing story.
The bulk of the whiskey is actually distilled in Indiana – blended & cut with some Colorado single malt & ‘Pure Rocky Mountain Water’.
So now that’s all clear – what was I doing in The North?
The North – being a different jurisdiction – stocks a more comprehensive & varied array of spirits than The South. Always keen to pick up something new & interesting I called in on an Asda supermarket on my travels & bagged this American Whiskey.
The design is cool – the marketing is slick – it’s reasonably priced – it made my basket.
A rich golden brown hue with that classic candyfloss bourbon sweetness tempered by a sawdusty dry rye aroma greeted me.
The palate was relatively mellow – yet gradually opened up with smooth vanilla & gently growing peppery spices building to a gorgeously drying finish leaving a tingling prickliness dancing away.
I found the overall presentation of this whiskey extremely endearing & enticing.
The whiskey itself suitably matched the marketing.
A lovely combination of rugged rye & smooth bourbon – stories of the past & visions for the future.
Happy Independence Day!
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