Obviously living in Ireland makes it easier to taste new goodies on the Irish whiskey scene, but also to find older whiskeys that are unavailable in Sweden, where I come from.
At the moment we live in a rental house that is adapted for people staying short term for holidays or such, so there are no obvious places to store things and we don’t want to buy bottles of whiskey (we have plenty packed down in boxes) since most can be tasted in bars here and there, but sometimes we can’t resist. Some of these are unpacked and some are new purchases.
I know, I know, they are unhappy there with sun exposure and all that. I do have a better plan and will move them soon.
However – I have some nice ones here in the window, that we unexpectedly found in the local Off Licence shop. Dingle single pot still batch 2 is one of them – it should be sold out by now? We saw two bottles of it in the shop when we just had moved here, and finally bought one on St Patrick’s day, and if nobody else has done the same, there is still a bottle left in the shop. Red Spot, the first batch, was also supposed to be all gone, or so we were told (at least outside the distillery visitor shops), but my husband bought one for my birthday, also from the Off Licence.
Here are some of my thoughts of random whiskeys I’ve come across since coming here.
Redbreast Pot Still blend, Edward Dillon & Co bottling
This bottle took me by surprise. I wanted a dram for the trad session, planned to have a Redbreast and suddenly saw this one. I had never seen it or heard of it before and didn’t even recognise the logo. Was it a premium bottle? Old? Rare? I didn’t dare to taste it that time because I thought that if it was an old bottle of true Redbreast it should be.. costly.
I posted the picture on Instagram to maybe get some more info. It seems like it’s a special Redbreast bottling for Edward Dillon & Co which I can see is a spirit & wine distributor that is still going strong as it seems, but I haven’t found more info about this bottling than that. It seems to have been bottled in the 90’s so the spirit should be from Midleton, in the early era of the rereleased Redbreast brand. This is a blend of pot still whiskey and grain whiskey.
If anyone who reads this knows more, and/or finds what I’ve written here is inaccurate, please let me know in the comments!
I was informed on Instagram that this bottling was a low seller and didn’t hold the quality of other bottlings with the Redbreast brand. On St Patrick’s day, I decided to taste it.
Newly cleaned wooden floor. Reminds me of a Swedish multipurpose soap made from, among other ingredients, pine tree oils. Maybe some lime or tangerine.
Fresh. Bitter, woody, with a touch of lemon. I miss some sweetness. Soft in the beginning but dry on the palate. The citrus-ey feel makes me think of washing -up liquid. Fresh. Barely any finish, perhaps a bit of pepper.
I’m not impressed. It was interesting to taste it, but I don’t think I’ll do it again.
Sexton single malt
This is a whiskey that we actually brought with us from Sweden, but I haven’t had much of it since we bought it, which was after Whiskey Live Dublin 2018.
The people from Sexton were the first exhibitors we stumbled across at Whiskey Live, and they were really cool with high hats and fancy clothes, and with a whiskey in a hexagonal-shaped (or what I call concertina shaped) bottle, like the rocks at the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim. It’s not the easiest bottle to pour from but I love the design, it’s very creative.
It’s a young 4-5-ish-year-old if I’m not mistaken, triple distilled and must be made at Bushmills. It’s been matured in Oloroso sherry casks and is bottled at 40% ABV.
Dark fruit, cereals, light sherry, varnished oak, oxidated apple, perhaps some orange?
Cereals, cinnamon, light toffee with a peppery twist. Light-bodied.
With added water, I get more sweetness but it’s still very dry on the palate. Aromas get more intense and with more citrus and something herbal.
This is a true sherry bomb which is quite uncommon for new Irish whiskeys. Very interesting though. I quite like it, but miss sweetness and some body. It’s also a fact that I’m not as fond of heavily sherried whiskeys as I used to be – still, it’s nice to see a whiskey brand that stands out and does something different.
Glendalough 13 years old, Mizunara cask
This is one that I had planned to taste at Whiskey Live, but among all new people and interesting whiskeys, I forgot about it. At Whiskey Live this year I’ll stick to my plan much better!
A year ago when we were going back to Sweden after a week in Ireland, I was recommended this whiskey at Dublin airport, but I didn’t want to buy it at €90 without tasting it first. A couple of weeks ago when I went to Shelbourne bar to have lunch and kill some time, I finally tasted it.
Glendalough is a brand I’ve been very impressed with. I have their 7-year-old and have tasted the “normal” 13-year-old as well as a single cask release, a whiskey finished in a burgundy cask. They are all very good, and I’m looking forward to seeing what their own produced whiskey will be like.
The Mizunara cask is Japanese oak, and I see that some other distilleries/producers also try this finish. There’s some good information about Mizunara oak here.
The Glendalough Mizunara cask finish was quite hyped for a while, and I’m not sure I think it’s so much better than the other 13-year-old, but it’s certainly a good whiskey.
It has a nice woody aroma with vanilla, toffee notes, cereals and orange.
The flavours are hard to define but very nice. Warm, sweet, peppery, hints of orange. Sweet and soft on the palate. Short finish and some bitterness at the end.
With water, it gets more intense on the nose and gets a longer finish, but loses some of its sweetness and soft mouthfeel.
I really liked this whiskey – but I’m not sure it’s so much better than the ordinary (and probably cheaper) 13-year-old. Nice on my palate though, and it’s always interesting to taste whiskeys with unusual cask finish.
West Cork Black Cask
The last but absolutely not the least. I absolutely love this whiskey. It’s a blend made by West Cork Distillers, that has been matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in double charred casks. It’s bottled at 40% like most other whiskeys from WCD.
The aroma is absolutely beautiful. Floral, light wood, pineapple? Tropical fruits, something herbal.
The floral character comes along to the palate. There’s a nice honeyish sweetness but also a nice peppery finish. Quite a short finish but nice soft mouthfeel with pepper.
A very nice blend that has an extra twist fresh, sweet and floral… I generally always like the whiskeys from these guys. West Cork has become my go-to whiskey, when I want a little dram but can’t decide what I want. They have very good prices too so it doesn’t hurt to get an extra bottle from them.
This week I’m going to kick off my weekly reviews again – now on Fridays. Look forward to the Friday dram series!