I came across this brand when I started searching for information about Irish whiskey some year ago. The Dublin Liberties whiskey, The Dubliner whiskey, and now Dead Rabbit, are owned by Quintessential Brands (along with many others, I’ve only mentioned the whiskeys here), and a new distillery also named Dublin Liberties will open later this year in – of course – the historic Liberties area in Dublin.
This old whiskey quarter of Dublin is now awakening to be a whiskey producing area again. Teeling opened there, then Pearse Lyons distillery, and now Dublin Liberties.
There's loads to say about the Liberties and about its history, and I certainly want to learn more about it, but I’ll leave that for another day.
I was curious to taste these whiskeys, and I ordered the Copper Alley – or so I thought. I don’t know who did the mistake, myself or the webshop I ordered from! I didn’t receive the Copper Alley but instead the Oak Devil, and of course, that one is also interesting to taste.
The Oak Devil is a blend of double distilled malt and grain whiskeys. It’s aged in ex-bourbon casks and bottled at 46%. It appears the Liberties was once called “Hell” and with this whiskey, they’ve played around with that. The website describes a carved oak devil that once stood at the entrance to the Liberties, and that one night suddenly disappeared, seduced by the whiskey angels escaping the barrels of the distilleries, or that the dark powers from the oak devil entered the barrels.
Dark powers or not, this was an interesting whiskey to taste, definitely not the typical blend.
This whiskey has a FANTASTIC aroma. I’d like a scented candle with this! Light wood, floral, something that reminds me of wild strawberries. Pineapple, light lemon, something minty and herbal. I love it.
I wasn’t totally impressed by the flavours here, but it has some interesting characters. As with the nose, I get something woody and very floral, mint and herbs, a kind of bitter feel. Quite dry and has a nice peppery finish.
The bitter and quite odd flavour makes the Oak Devil a whiskey that isn't among my favourites. Interesting, yes, and it’s fascinating how different it is from other bourbon matured whiskeys I’ve tasted, but the bitter feel it gives my palate isn’t my cup of tea. However, I’m looking forward to seeing the distillery open, and I will definitely visit when I get a chance. I’m now also looking forward to tasting the other whiskey, the one I intended to buy – the Copper Alley.