Tag Archives: Whiskey

The Bootlegger by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott

Despite being a 2014 publication this rip roaring action packed story set in 1920’s prohibition times of rum running reads like a 1930’s boys own story.

The clean cut hero thwarts a Bolshevik takeover of the US with the help of his trusted friends.

There’s a little background into the dark underworld prohibition spawned with mentions of Haig & Haig, The Real McCoy, Canadian Club & Bushmills too.

Could easily be the plot for a classic style of B Movie.

Sláinte

Book image courtesy fruugo.ie

Nardini Grappa Bianca, 50%

I do love exploring other spirit categories.

They give variety, a different suite of flavours & a contrast to the whiskey I normally consume.

With whiskey – it’s all about the wood – to borrow a popular tagline.

With the trio of clear spirits represented by rum, tequila & grappa it’s more about the interplay of the raw ingredients & distillation process used to bring about a richness of taste in the unaged spirit.

Courtesy CelticWhiskeyShop

Clear spirit does not mean silent spirit – as this lovely Nardini Grappa Bianca demonstrates.

Nardini are one of the oldest & largest grappa distilleries in Italy where the leftovers from wine production – pomace – is distilled in a combination of copper stills to produce this rich & pungent spirit.

An earthy sweetness greeted me on the nose.

Smooth, oily mouthfeel with a rich, almost agricultural style of flavour going on.

Slight prickly spice on the rear.

I didn’t guess this was presented at 50%.

Yeah – Grappa grabs me!

Nice one Nardini.

Salute

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.

8 Degrees, Devil’s Ladder Belgian Tripel, Sherry Cask Aged, 11.5%

Very rich tasting.

Very moreish.

A mountain of a beer at 11.5%.

Devil’s Ladder c/othewhiskeynut

Part of 8 Degrees Brewing Irish Munro series – this beer’s casks are in turn used to age a whiskey creating the Crested Devil’s Ladder version.

Crested Devil’s Ladder c/oCelticWhiskeyShop

As both 8 Degrees & Crested are owned by Pernod Ricard – it’s great to see further developments from this partnership.

Enjoy them while you can!

Sláinte

DOT Brew, Session Rye Revisited, 4%

I don’t just enjoy a rye whiskey – I’m also partial to rye in beer.

The grain imparts different qualities to the beverages.

In whiskey there’s usually a light sweet aroma, rather dry palate & a gorgeous spiciness to finish.

In beer I loose the spice.

Rye beer c/othewhiskeynut

With this Session Rye from DOT Brew a light sweet & fruity nose kicks things off.

Definitely dry on the palate.

Then fades rather quickly leaving you wanting more!

Back label c/othewhiskeynut

Rye grain is harder to work with – which is probably why it’s use faded over the years.

Makes it all the more enjoyable to savour when it does appear!

Sláinte

That S*it Will Never Sell! David Gluckman

As much passion, creativity & hard work goes into building a brand that sells big – Baileys – as to one that doesn’t – Kenya Cane anyone?

This attractively presented book delves into the often hidden world of a drinks & brand innovator.

Front c/othewhiskeynut

Clearly the author relished his work. Passion shines through in the pages of this highly entertaining & engaging publication.

In my travels I’ve fortunately encountered some of the brands featured – the aforementioned Baileys – to it’s lesser known Baileys The Whiskey.

Bailey’s The Whiskey c/othewhiskeynut

And there were a few others I’d have been tempted to try – Stubbs White Rum?

When branding is often more about perception than product, the author stresses the liquid must always match the narrative.

Back c/othewhiskeynut

I’ve pictured the book with Proper Twelve. It’s been a runaway success that many scoffed. The whiskey inside is every bit as good as the story.

Sláinte

Rebel Yell, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, 40%

I can’t resist humming a few lines from Billy Idol’s 1983 hit “Rebel Yell” whenever I encounter this whiskey.

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King Rocker? c/othewhiskeynut

According to rock legend – Billy wrote the song after attending a party fueled by the aforementioned beverage.

Rock ‘n’ Roll & Whiskey – the perfect mix.

Would Rebel Yell deliver?

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Ready, Steady, Go! c/othewhiskeynut

Well the nose is sweet bourbon – full of popcorn, bubblegum & a touch of spice.

The mouthfeel is smooth, easy & pleasant.

A touch of intensity on the finish as it slowly dries out.

Not raucous rock to me – more bubblegum punk – which both Billy & Rebel Yell Whiskey excel in.

A suitable pairing.

Sláinte

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Dunnes Stores Traditional Whiskey Smoked Irish Ham

If you’re out shopping for some sliced ham – as I was – and you come across a Whiskey Smoked one – there can only be one response – buy it!

Now it might be a gimmick.

It might not be up to much.

But it sure is worth a punt!

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A proper sandwich. c/othewhiskeynut

I happily slapped a few slices in a sandwich layered with mayonnaise for a taster.

Very nice!

To be fair no whiskey has been used in the smoking. It’s the whiskey wood chips that provide the fuel source for the aromatic smoke after the spirited liquid has been removed.

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3 days maturation – sorry – curing! c/othewhiskeynut

Trying the ham ‘neat’ did reveal some subtle smokiness which gave welcome added flavour.

Suited my palate just fine!

Sláinte

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Powers 15 Year Old, Garavan’s Single Cask, Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, 46%

Garavan’s in Galway is the very epitome of what an Irish Whiskey Bar should be.

Leaving the bustling world outside, it is a haven of calm in a warm friendly bar adorned with a bewildering array of whiskey on wooden shelves behind the bar as well as in glass cabinets around the cozy snug areas.

It entices you in to sit down and slow down.

To take time and browse the extensive whiskey menu looking for a sample of that rare bottling, or perhaps ordering up one of Garavan’s tasting platters to explore the rich depth and variety of whiskey flavours on offer.

Garavan’s even have their own whiskey – Garavan’s Grocers Choice 10 Year Old Single Malt – and a fine whiskey it is too!

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Garavan’s Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut

Yet Garavan’s have raised the bar even higher.

In a nod to times past when it was common practice for bars to bottle their own whiskey bought in barrel from the distillery – Garavan’s took themselves down to Midleton Distillery in County Cork and chose a single cask of Powers Single Pot Still Whiskey to be bottled for them as an exclusive Garavan’s Single Cask Release.

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A tasty drop of Powers c/othewhiskeynut

A small gathering of whiskey fans assembled to be part of the unveiling of the Powers 15 Year Old Garavan’s Single Cask Release presented by Ger Garland, Irish Distillers Whiskey Brand Ambassador.

As a way of introduction – we were served a glass of Powers Gold Label.

It’s a blend of spicy single pot still and sweet grain whiskey.

It typifies the more characterful spirit forward, honey sweet yet peppery spiced notes which are usually associated with the Powers range of whiskeys.

It’s a style I enjoy.

The Garavan’s Single Cask Release builds on these elements.

Presented at a higher 46% ABV and being a single pot still there is no grain input. A gentle vanilla & softly burnt toast nose from the exclusively ex-bourbon cask maturation provided the sweet part.

The dry peppery spice came through more clearly & distinctively on the palate with warming notes from the charred cask which slowly faded away leaving a gorgeously dry mouthfeel.

It’s a sensation I enjoy in a whiskey – and one this Powers delivers.

Single cask offerings can vary a great deal.

I’ve tried a few of the Powers Single Cask releases and it always amazes me the differences considering they are all essentially the same distillate. The individual casks used for maturation can produce such a wide variety of results that are normally married together to produce a consistent flavour profile. It’s a treat therefore to sample from one individual cask.

The Garavan’s 15 Year Old Single Cask Release certainly highlights for me the signature sweet & spice Powers mix I find so attractive.

Congratulations to both Garavan’s Bar & Powers Whiskey for coming together to release this bottle.

It’s presented in a very attractive wrap around laser etched box with a representation of the bar itself on the front.

Get it while you can.

Sláinte

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Millars Special Reserve, 40%, Blend

I enjoy entering premises I’ve not been in before.

You never know what you will find.

I certainly found some gems in The Old Stand off licence in Mullingar recently.

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The Old Stand off licence & bar Mullingar. c/othewhiskeynut

This miniature of Millars Special Reserve is increasing hard to find. So I promptly bought it, opened it and drank it.

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Millars Irish Whiskey in a Túath glass. c/othewhiskeynut

Light pale straw in colour – it has that caramelly nose with a bit of a spirity kick.

I found the taste satisfyingly warm & smooth, A good hint of vanilla with a lovely gentle heat on the finish.

An easy sipping blend indeed.

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