This is one expression that almost got away.
I’ve known about it’s existence for a while.
Originally released in 2010 by a flamboyant entrepreneur who had big plans for the small island off the West coast of Ireland the whiskey is named after – Inish Turk Beg. The whiskey – if nothing else – comes in a very attractive & distinctive bottle with an equally delightful back story.
By 2013 – it was all over.
Nadim Sadek’s dreams were in taters – and the island sold on.
Those lucky enough to purchase a bottle at the time are likely to see the value increase – those that didn’t – tough. Much like the ill fated Titanic – both the Atlantic liner and the whiskey brand of lottery winner Peter Lavery – this ‘Maiden Voyage’ expression is destined to be the last voyage.
Luckily for me – many bars up and down the country still have a bottle you can order a shot from. So when I encountered Inish Turk Beg in the relaxing West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen recently I had a simple choice to make.
To slightly mangle The Clash’s lyrics – should I buy a glass to see what all the fuss was about? Or should I just leave it – never to try it out?
It’s what you call a ‘no brainer’ really.
If – like me – you are curious about all whiskey – what they taste like, what the style is – irrespective as to the country of origin, manufacturer, back story or not – you try it. Preferably soon after the original release. The longer you leave it inevitably 2 things will happen;
1 – The price will go up.
2 – It will all be gone.
So I tasted it.
A very smooth & soft caramelly nose infused with honey, toffee & a slight earthy note.
Very easy sipping. More vanilla & caramel. The earthy note develops more and gives this expression a rather unique character.
A satisfyingly lovely warm glow from the bourbon cask maturation gently fades away on the palate.
Was it worth it?
In short – yes.
The whiskey inside the bottle isn’t exactly earth shattering – but it is a decent dram. There is enough of a twist to make it interesting. Now you could possibly find a bottle of whiskey for the same price as a shot of Inish Turk Beg that would be equally as good – but it wouldn’t have been the same.
You wouldn’t have had the chat & banter with the bar staff and fellow drinkers as to the merits of whiskey, gin & craft beers.
You wouldn’t have bothered to check up the internet to discover the back story to Inish Turk Beg.
And you wouldn’t have enjoyed a dram from a very fancy bottle to satisfy your curiosity and see what it was really like for yourself.
It would have got away.