Month: March 2018

WOTW – Tullamore DEW Old Bonded Warehouse release

This week, the Whiskey of the week post will be short and sweet. We’re in Ireland and enjoying ourselves, and although I did prepare this post before we left, it needed some final touch but it’s been a busy trip and I haven’t spent much time with the computer at all.

In August we visited Tullamore and the Tullamore DEW visitor centre. It’s located in one of their old bonded warehouses, and is highly recommended! There’s a little shop and a nice restaurant where you can eat as well as taste their whiskey. In the shop you can also book different tasting experiences if you have more time in Tullamore than we had (we were just passing through).

This visitor centre opened in 2012, and to celebrated they released a whiskey – the Old Bonded Warehouse release. It’s triple distilled and triple blended (pot still, single malt and grain whiskeys) with a high pot still content, and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose
Herbs, malt, sweet and toffee-ish. Light vanilla and wood.

Palate
Sweet and spicy with vanilla and honey. It opens up nicely with a few drops of water, more vanilla and sweetness and with a spicy finish.

This whiskey has a nice sweetness and as with other whiskeys from Tullamore that I’ve tasted, you notice the high pot still content. This one has a little too shy body for my taste so I’d rate it a bit lower than the Phoenix release. Still an interesting whiskey though, and one you should taste if you visit Tullamore.

WOTW – Powers John’s Lane

Hello whiskey people! 
This week I’m one day late with posting, I arrived to Ireland on Friday and have been too busy with St Patrick’s day celebrations and other fun stuff to finish this post, until now!

Powers whiskey. What can I possibly say about it that people don’t already know?

A cool fact is that Powers was the first Dublin distillery that bottled their own whiskey. They used golden labels, which later gave the name to the standard Powers whiskey, Powers Gold Label.

They also introduced the concept of blended whiskey into the Irish whiskey industry that by then was struggling hard after the American prohibition. Blended whiskey had won the hearts (or preferences…) of whiskey consumers, and many distilleries had closed down partially because they refused to follow the trend of making blended whiskey. Shortly after this, Powers merged with a few other distilleries to form the Irish distillers, and was later closed when all distilling activity was moved to the new Midleton distillery. After this, Powers Gold Label was changed into a blend instead of a single pot still.

During the 2000s, Midleton has revived Powers single pot still with some very nice releases. Powers John’s Lane was released in 2011, and it won the “Irish whiskey of the year” award in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2012. Other Powers single pot still whiskeys include the 1817 release, Three swallows, and the Signature release.

The John’s Lane release was – along with the 15-year-old Redbreast – my first encounter with pot still whiskey (other than in blends).

Nose
Light oak, vanilla sweetness, honey, citrus. Light pepper. With a drop or two of water, lots of fresh citrus and cereals, some herbs.

Palate
Very sweet entrance with honey, creamy vanilla, lots of pepper and some oak. Medium body, I’d prefer more. With added water the oak character inreases but the whiskey loses some body. Nice long finish with wood and lots of peppery spice. It’s quite dry to the palate. Nicely sweet and spicy though.
A lovely whiskey and of course I can never speak any harsh words against a single pot still whiskey from Midleton, they are all good, although I do prefer other brands to this one.

I always love a strong body and some oily texture which this one doesn’t have compared to other pot still whiskeys, but it has lots of flavour, strong characters, and a beautiful finish that goes on forever. Definitely a must for anyone interested in Irish whiskey and who wants to explore the world beyond the famous blends.

WOTW – Glendalough 7-year-old single malt

Glendalough distillery in Wicklow was set up in 2011, and at the beginning they only made poitín – gin and whiskey came later. They have a very interesting line of poitíns, and botanical gins. This is a small distillery, they only have one still that they use for all distillations.

The distillery plans to produce single malts and single grain whiskeys – no blends. I just read though that they have made a pot still whiskey that is currently maturing. Very good news of course, if you’ve read my previous posts you know that I’m a lover of pot still whiskey!

Their first releases are made from sourced whiskey while waiting for their own whiskey to be mature, and they finish the whiskey in their own barrels. There is this 7-year-old single malt, a 13-year-old single malt a 13-year-old single malt finished in Japanese oak barrels, and the double barrel finished single grain. A newer addition is a triple cask matured single grain, finished in Madeira casks. It seems like all these come from Cooley stock, and as with all new distilleries, I’m really looking forward to the first release of their own produce!

I bought this whiskey in August 2017, during a trip in Ireland, and it sure is a very nice and tasty dram if you like lots of flavour and sweet stuff. It’s matured in ex-bourbon casks, and bottled at 46%.

Nose
Something oily, light mint, citrus, light pepper, honey, oak. A feel of new paint or wallpaper glue. With a few drops of water: more citrus and oak.

Palate
Peppery entrance. Very sweet, lots of honey, it also gives me a feeling of honey like texture. Burnt sugar, malt, something fruity, oak. Long peppery and very sweet finish.

I like that this whiskey has so much flavour, especially being so young, and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a really tasty Irish whiskey, but there’s a bit too much sweetness for my own personal taste. That being said, I definitely want to taste the 13-year-old and compare it to this one.

WOTW – Dingle single malt, batch 1

I’ve finally arrived to Dingle whiskey. The Dingle distillery was one of the first I came across when I started looking for information about irish distilleries. I had been to Dingle once previously but didn’t know about the distillery back then – what a shame!

They opened in 2012, by a group of people who owned a craft brewery. The plan has always been quality over quantity, to continue small scale production of a really good whiskey, and the first drops of whiskey were ready in December 2015.

Until the early 2000s there were only three distilleries in Ireland, and it was definitely about time for new independent distilleries to open, which is exactly what is happening now with new distilleries being planned, built, or opened all over Ireland. Dingle was, after West Cork, the second new distillery to open in Ireland in many years.

When I first read about their whiskey I found the description of it very appealing, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from such a young whiskey. The very first whiskey from one single cask was released in December 2015, and the batch 1 single malt was released in 2016. I had the opportunity to taste it in a Cork pub in April 2017, and loved it from the very first drop. When I came to Dublin I looked for it everywhere to buy a bottle, but nobody had it for sale anymore. Later that year however, the brilliant L Mulligan whiskey had opened their web shop and I bought it from there.

It’s a nice smooth whiskey – maybe a little bit too smooth for my taste – but with a gorgeous flavour profile, fruity but with a touch of dark chocolate and oak. It’s matured in bourbon casks, and bottled at 46,5% ABV.

Nose
Lemon peel and orange, dark chocolate bar, light hint of cereals.

Palate
Dark chocolate, herbs, fresh citrus, light pepper. 
With a drop of water it gets a more oily feel, there’s more chocolate and herbs, along with some pepper and oak. Very nice!

I tasted the cask strength version of this whiskey in Dublin in August, and it was absolutely beautiful. Extra everything, extra fabulous. I really like cask strength of any whiskey because the stronger alcohol content keeps the flavours in the whiskey and often gives it that nice oily texture that I love.

I really like the Dingle whiskey, it has a nice character and is impressive for being so young. It’s a very interesting distillery too, I’m really looking forward to see what they will release in the future and how their whiskey will develop over time. As well as a second – very nice – single malt they have already released a single pot still whiskey – so they are heroes in my opinion!! I’ve been wondering why no distillery other than Midleton makes pot still whiskey for other than blends. It was definitely about time!!

Dingle distillery is located quite centrally in Dingle, they have a small visitor centre and offer a lovely distillery tour, definitely book yourself in for a tour if you’re in the area! It ends with a tasting where you can taste the whiskey and also their gin or vodka (at least when we were there).

Read more about Dingle distillery and their whiskey here.