Tag Archives: Tuath Whiskey Glass

Jack Daniel’s Rye, 45%

I’m a big fan of rye.

The dry peppery spice, the warm mouth feel & the little kick of prickly heat all entice me.

I’d heard Jack Daniel’s had a rye at the Slane Distillery opening. Being a Brown-Forman distillery all the reps were over for the shindig & being a little tipsy – I got chatting to them.

Always keen to try out a new rye – I happened to spot this bottle travelling back from France at a very reasonable sub €30 price tag.

2 (1 of 1)
Rye, Mellowed & Matured c/othewhiskeynut

How could I resist?

Now this is a rather no frills, no nonsense, straight down the line offering.

It has that classic dry peppery nose – yet softened & more rounded by the ‘charcoal mellowing method’ JD uses in all it’s products.

2 (1 of 1)-2
Tennessee Rye c/othewhiskeynut

It takes a while to get going – before a gently growing spicy flourish develops.

A pleasant prickly heat fades away towards the finale.

Even at 45% – this is an easy approachable rye that demonstrates the pleasures of that particular grain.

There’s not much complexity or depth to it – but for the cost – it delivers.

Slàinte

Good Logo

Advertisements

Arbikie Highland Rye, Single Grain Scotch Whisky, 46%

It’s not everyday you get a whisky sample sent through the post – especially one as outstanding as Highland Rye Single Grain Whisky from Arbikie Distillery in Arbroath, Scotland.

To begin with, this is a farm to bottle operation.

The grains used – barley, rye & wheat in this instance – are grown in the fields around the distillery.

There is also no chill filtration nor added colouring to mute the fabulous flavours within.

2 (1 of 1)-4
Arbikie Highland Rye Whisky c/othewhiskeynut

And it’s a rye.

The first for many a year Scotland has produced.

Rye at one stage was a common grain used in a mixed mashbill distillation by both Scottish and Irish distillers as testified by a certain Mr Jameson at the 1909 ‘What is Whisky’ enquiry.

Rye mashbills
Quotes from 1909 enquiry c/oblackwaterdistilleryblog

It happens to be a grain I’m very attracted to.

It adds a bit of bite, a dash of dry peppery spice, a certain boldness, a touch of character and a degree of complexity to any whiskey.

Rye has no legal definition in either Scotland nor Ireland. Yet in America – often seen as the home of rye – it must have a mashbill content of at least 51% rye to gain the title – which this Highland Rye does.

So what’s it like to drink?

2 (1 of 1)-3
Highland Rye in a Tuath Glass c/othewhiskeynut

Absolutely fabulous!

The nose captures the classic dry peppery spice augmented by elements of cherry sweetness from the PX cask finish.

The barley & wheat bring a silky smoothness to begin with, coating the palate in a warm snug of dark fruitiness before the rye makes itself known.

The palate gradually dries off into a wonderfully prickly peppery spice with hints of cherries dancing around on the enjoyably long finish.

The PX finish adds another layer of depth & complexity to this rye.

On a back to back tasting with its  2 year old sibling – which I purchased on first hearing Scotland had produced a rye – the youthful exuberance & freshness resulted in a cleaner, more classic peppery spice experience balanced with a barley smoothness.

2 (1 of 1)-2
Rye Spirit vs Rye Whisky c/othewhiskeynut

The PX finish of the 3 year old  – which is still a relatively unusual style of rye even in America – boosts that joyful youthfulness with richer, darker elements.

Arbroath – more famous for stovies & smokies – can now add rye to the culinary & quaffable delights on offer.

My thanks to all at Arbikie for the opportunity to taste this gorgeous rye whisky.

Sláinte

Good Logo

 

 

Mackmyra Vinterglod, 46.1%, v Bergslagens Peat Ferie, 46%, Single Malts

I had an unexpected package arrive just in time for International Whisky Day on 27th March – a pair of fabulous Swedish Single Malts for me to enjoy courtesy of the Irish Drams blog here.

They came as part of an informal whisky sample exchange I have going with a number of fellow whisky fans – always happy to have more.

The pair were poured into my favourite drinking receptacle  – the Túath Irish Whiskey Glass – and the fun began.

Wow!

The flavours in both of these malts just explode on the palate giving a tantalisingly complex taste experience.

This matches my encounters of other Swedish malts sampled on a recent trip to Göteborg which benefit from being non chill filtered & presented at natural colour.

vinterglöd-förackning-liten
Vinterglod c/oMackmyra

Mackmyra Vinterglöd is full of spicy cinnamon & orange on the nose which follows through on the taste.

There’s a bed of warm vanilla underneath which slowly dries out leaving a gorgeously spicy tingling.

A wonderful spicy winter warmer!

Very novel.

Sherry-Darling-Peat-Ferie
Peat Ferie c/oBergslagens

Bergslagens is very dark.

Gentle sweet peat on the nose, perhaps muted by the rich sherry notes.

The taste starts off smooth & silky, before a dry ashy peat wafts in leaving a wonderfully drying sensation tinged with stone fruitiness.

Loving the contrast between the deceptively smooth entry morphing into a stunningly dry ashy hit.

Both are slightly unusual malts, both are very appealing & both push the boundaries of what a great tasting whisky should be.

If anything Vinterglöd reminds me of the Scottish Liqueur Drambuie – without the cloying honey sweetness.

Bergslagens just wins it for me. The powerfully dry ash suits my palate perfectly.

For further information on these fabulous malts press here for Vinterglöd,

And here for Peat Ferie.

Happy International Whisky Day!

Sláinte

Good Logo

 

 

 

Drombeg Original, 22%, Liqueur

I’m slowly working my way through all the whiskeys available to buy in my local Dunnes store.

A bottle I’ve avoided up until now eventually made it into my basket.

2 (1 of 1) (3)
Drombeg front c/othewhiskeynut

Drombeg Original.

It was one of West Cork Distillers first offerings – and is a mainstay on the whiskey shelves at Dunnes.

Despite looking like a whiskey – golden brown in colour – at only 22% – clearly isn’t.

There is no mention of whiskey on the label either – so perhaps ‘spirit drink’ or ‘liqueur’ would be a more apt descriptor.

2 (1 of 1)
Drombeg back c/othewhiskeynut

The nose is caramelly sweet – the label states added E150a – a bit of vanilla with a hint of woodiness too.

Initially watery – not a great deal going on  – a slight touch of heat towards the finish – some soft woody spice – but the sweetness dominates.

Rather empty.

The back label suggests a serving with ginger ale.

Probably a good idea.

Sláinte

Good Logo

AK Bar Whisky, 40%

It’s Chinese New Year starting on the 5th of February.

As part of celebrating the Lunar New Year I cracked open the wonderfully labelled AK Bar Whisky from China itself.

AK Bar produce an impressive array of spirits.

AK Bar brands
AK Bar brands c/oAlibaba

Quite what is in them is hard to define.

2 (1 of 1)-3 (2)
All you need to know? c/othewhiskeynut

The Alibaba site for AK Bar Whisky makes for interesting, confusing & entertaining reading to say the least. Form your own conclusions by having a look here.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained – I poured a generous túath glass for tasting.

2 (1 of 1)-2 (2)
Feel the roar! c/othewhiskeynut

Now the colour – for a stated 3 year old – is a little on the dark side & suggests added caramel.

The nose is very muted.

It’s like sniffing a chocolate biscuit liquid toffee filing.

No hint of 40% alcohol strength here.

It starts off almost watery & smooth to begin with. The sweet toffee, caramel & honey all blend together before a softly growing heat makes a pleasant entrance towards the end.

The heat slowly fades leaving a gentle sweet kiss of burnt toffee at the end.

It’s verging on liqueur territory – which is probably a more accurate appraisal.

It’s not offensive – just way too sweet for my liking – but the one thing I agree with in the Alibaba description;

large power after drinking

holds true.

乾杯, gán béi, cheers, sláinte

Good Logo

 

 

Bunratty Irish Poteen, 40%

I was going to do a one word blog;

Corny

But that wouldn’t do this poitin justice.

It’s corny in 2 ways.

Firstly from the rather ‘bigging up the blarney’ touristy offering,

And then the softly sweet new make smell of it’s main ingredient – I’d suggest anyway – corn.

It’s not a flavour profile I’m particularly fond of.

2 (1 of 1) (3)
Bunratty miniature c/othewhiskeynut

But Bunratty Poteen was one of the 1st commercial poitins – the more usual spelling – out on the market post the 1997 legalisation.

And for that it’s worthy of praise. For opening up the category to other entrants – which suit my palate better.

So I doff my cap to Bunratty Poteen for being a trend setter.

Even if I find it corny!

Sláinte

Good Logo

Ben Bracken Islay Single Malt, 40%

It’s been well over a year since I first went out to purchase this whisky.

The idea of a budget supermarket branded single malt appealed to me. I had to find out for myself what it tasted like.

Inadvertently I walked into the wrong German supermarket store and came out with Aldi’s Glen Marnoch instead.

Now in this segment of the market you have to accept chill filtering & added caramel. There is no provenance – nor terroir. There isn’t even a Glen Marnoch or Ben Bracken distillery – let alone an actual physical Ben or Glen of the same name to visit. You get what you pay for – entry level single malt.

The Glen Marnoch Islay was fine – a decent hit of peat over a rather hefty dose of  caramel.

I’d actually stopped looking for Ben Bracken.

It’s reach didn’t seem to make it across the Irish Sea – and there were far more entertaining bottles to bring back from the UK.

2 (1 of 1)-3 (3)
Ben Bracken Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut

But when it appeared in my local Lidl store in Athlone – I couldn’t really give it a miss. If only to show no favouritism towards either store.

To kick off with there’s that dark ruby mahogany shade of added caramel – but on nosing – a refreshingly clean & clear smack of peat smoke greeted me.

I found it very inviting.

The initial taste was rather soft, watery & almost insipid – but then a big waft of peat just blows in and makes it sort of alright!

My peat baby is coming back to me!

The experience left a softly drying ashiness. Like a warm & cosy seaside fire rolling around on my palate.

I’d rate this higher than Glen Marnoch.

2 (1 of 1)-2 (3)
I get peat! c/othewhiskeynut

The caramel quota isn’t as pronounced – which allows a more powerful & peaty punch to shine through.

There isn’t much else.

It’s rather one dimensional.

But if like me you enjoy a smack of smoke in your glass.

At 25 euro.

I doubt you’d find a more enjoyable peatiness.

Sláinte

Good Logo

Dolmen Irish Poitín, 40%

The attractively simple & clean design of this Aldi supermarket release matches the clear & fresh taste of the poitín inside.

2 (1 of 1) (3)
Dolmen Irish Poitín c/othewhiskeynut

Dolmens – or portal tombs – are found throughout Ireland. They date from 2,000 to 3,000 years BC and provide an insight into former civilisations that existed in Ireland.

Poitín is also a product of earlier times.

Times when there were no rules or regulations governing alcohol manufacture or consumption and poitín making was a locally based farm activity.

Today it is a growing category in the re-emerging Irish Whiskey scene.

It can be made from any grain – in either pot or column stills – and usually has not been aged in wood for added colour or flavour.

Dolmen Irish Poitín is quite a distinctive style of poitín.

Rather than displaying the somewhat oily & slightly sour taste experience I expect within this genre of spirit – Dolmen portrays a clean & refreshingly sweet bouquet to the nose.

This follows through into the taste which starts off rather soft & mild – easily approachable even – before a slowly warming reassuring heat makes it’s presence felt.

A pleasantly appealing &  palatable poitín.

2 (1 of 1)-2 (2)
Poitín poetry c/othewhiskeynut

There’s a suitable storyline on the back label which combines history, myth, folklore and fancy and – unusually for a supermarket release – the distillery of origin.

Blackwater Distillery.

2 (1 of 1)-3 (2)
Waterford Poitín c/othewhiskeynut

I look forward to future releases from this distillery.

The 21st whiskey distillery in Ireland to recently open for business.

Sláinte

Good Logo

An Fear Grinn, 16 Year Old Single Malt, Single Cask, 57%.

Irish Whiskey is in resurgence.

There are a plethora of new players attracted to the market buoyed by the confidence of future growth.

Proper 2
Proper Truck c/oinstagram

From Conor McGregor’s Proper No Twelve at one end of the scale – to An Fear Grinn – a single malt, single cask offering from private bottler Whiskey Factor at the other end.

I welcome them all.

An fear grinn
An Fear Grinn c/oinstagram

It would be a far more worrying state of affairs if there weren’t any newcomers investing in Irish Whiskey.

What unites both of the above releases is they are both representations of spirit distilled at existing distilleries. Until the new crop of distilleries have matured stocks of whiskey at hand – most new entrants have no alternatives.

Whilst Proper No Twelve is a decent enough standard blend banking on it’s celebrity owner’s popularity – or infamy as the case may be – An Fear Grinn is a single cask bottling from an unnamed Irish Distillery. It showcases a liquid not usually available to the public. A liquid that is normally vatted & watered down as a core range single malt – or even potentially used – in small quantities – to give added flavour to a standard blend – like the one above.

I very fortuitously obtained a generous sample from the Whiskey Factor for evaluation & enjoyment.

Now the first thing you notice is the colour.

It’s very pale.

This is a 16 year old single malt matured exclusively in a single ex-bourbon cask.

It represents it’s natural colour.

Without the use of added caramel – it’s what most of our whiskey should look like.

The simple act of pouring a measure into the Túath glass revealed a pleasing waft of warm vanilla.

Clearly no chill filtering either.

At 57% you’d expect a bit of a punch – yet the nose is very fresh & fruity with a hint of tannic woodiness in the background.

Surprisingly smooth on the palate. The rich tannins make their presence felt before the warm vanilla & citrusy fruits shine through.

It’s only on the finish the cask strength of this bottling makes itself known. An explosion of alcohol mixed in with fabulous flavours dances around in a prickly heat before slowly subduing into an oaky spiciness & fruit finale.

Fabulous stuff!

Sláinte.

Good Logo

An Fear Grinn is only available via Whiskey Factor here.

Many thanks to Whiskey Factor for the sample.

JJ Corry, The Flintlock, 16 Year Old Single Malt, 46%

The first thing you notice about the new Flintlock release from the award winning Chapel Gate Whiskey is the pale complexion of the 16 year old single malt.

DSCF2252 email
Come on in to Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

No added colouring here.

The next thing you notice is the rich aroma of vanilla even as you pour the sample into a Túath Glass.

No chill filtering either.

It’s silky smooth in the mouth.

Yet more rich vanilla & light caramel from the bourbon cask maturation.

Some fresh lemony citrus notes.

It softly grows into a gorgeously gentle spiciness which dances off the tongue.

A lovely warming finish rounds up this award winning single malt.

Sláinte.

Good Logo

A sample was taken at the Irish Whiskey Awards held in Slane Castle on 18th October 2018 and tasted at home.

Limited release – contact Celtic Whiskey Shop to reserve a bottle.