Archive for the ‘Irish Whskey’ Category
Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 29, 2015
Several weeks ago, my friend Dennis returned from a trip to Ireland (where he had been enjoying a well deserved holiday with his girlfriend), and he brought back a couple of whiskeys for me to try. The first one he showed my was Paddy. I didn’t know too much about it, and so I visited their website, to see what I could find out.
What I learned is that Paddy Whiskey is matured for up to 7 years in oak barrels after being distilled from 100 % barley grain. A proportion of the whisky (an unusually high percentage the website says) is malted barley whisky, as well, some of the Paddy Whiskey blended with what is called Irish Pot Still Whisky. The whiskey is produced in Cork at The Middleton Distillery, and is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
Here is a link to my full review:
“… A combination of honeyed butterscotch and soft punky pot-still caramel flavours greet my palate as I take my first sip. There are lively oak spices and some light herbal tones of heather and spearmint. Vanilla and almond flavours settle into the whiskey and bits of orange peel zest nibble at the edges of flavour giving the spirit a bit of a spicy edge …”
Please enjoy the review which concludes with a nice cocktail suggestion, the Emerald Crusta.
Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Emerald Crusta, Irish Whiskey, Paddy, Review, Whiskey | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2015
In 1988 John Teeling bought the Cooley Distillery (formerly a potato schnapps distillery) from the Irish Government essentially as a purchase of a facility meant for the scrap heap. The distillery however, was never scrapped. Instead John Teeling and his Master Distiller, Noel Sweeny, turned their perceptions of the facility around, rolled up their sleeves, and ten years later started making some of the most unique Irish whiskey in the Country. (Not that it was easy, Dr. Teeling tried unsuccessfully to sell the distillery five years into the process to rid himself of the bad investment. But… innovation and desire played their part, and the remarkable turn around of the Cooley Distillery is now the stuff of legend.)
Four major four major brands (Kilbeggan, Connemara, Greenore, and Tyrconnell) were produced by Cooley all of which were all acquired by Beam Global (now BeamSuntory) in January 2012. Jack Teeling, who was the managing director of Cooley, decided at this point to go on his own again and created the Teeling Whiskey Company. At this time the flagship whiskey of the Teeling brand is their small batch Teeling Irish Whiskey.
The Teeling Whiskey Company website has this to say about Teeling (Small Batch) Irish Whisky:
“Our Flagship Irish whiskey and our attempt to create the most interesting Blended Irish whiskey. This small batch bottling consists of hand selected casks which are given further maturation in ex-rum barrels imparting extra character and smooth flavour unique to Irish whiskey. By bottling at 46% with no chill filtration completes an Irish whiskey of true character.”
Here is a link to the full review:
“… The initial aroma from the glass brings forward a light candied sweetness which reminds me of malt scotch, butterscotch and a few wisps of cotton candy. As the glass breathes I also notice some dry lemongrass, bits of sandalwood and few dusty dry wood spices in the breezes along with impressions of almond, dusty grain and a light wafting of vanilla which tags along for the ride …”
Please enjoy the review which includes a nice Irish Whiskey cocktail, the Emerald Crusta.
Happy St. Patrick’s everyone!
Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Crusta, Emerald Crusta, Irish Whiskey, Review, Small Batch, Teeling Whiskey, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off on Review: Teeling Irish Whiskey (Small Batch)
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2014
Today is the day of St. Patrick, and in many places throughout the world, this is a day to revel in the Irish heritage which we either share by birth, or (on St. Patrick’s Day at least) we share by spirit. Some of us will wear green clothing; some of us will attend parades; and some of us will even drink green beer in what has become more of a secular holiday which celebrates Irish culture, than a religious holiday which celebrates the Patron Saint after which the day was first named.
And in fact, celebrating Irish culture is not a bad thing; it was after all the Irish who first distilled ‘uisce beatha‘, which translates from Irish into English as ‘the water of life‘. I could go into a long and detailed etymology, but suffice it to say that ‘uisce beatha’ is probably very close to the original form of the word which would later become ‘whiskey’. My blog is full of reviews of this wonderful spirit; but as I have admitted in the past, it is sorely lacking in content dedicated to the Irish form of the spirit.
Today, I will go a small way towards correcting this imbalance by reviewing a whiskey from the Emerald Isle which embodies the character and the class of spirits we call Irish Whiskey. And, one which bears a rather obscure link to St. Patrick’s Day.
Like St. Patrick, who was born (in 385 A.D.) of Scottish parentage, but found his calling (and fame) in Ireland where the holiday of St. Patrick first bore his name, so to John Jameson was also born a Scotsman (in 1740 A.D.), and he also found his calling (and established his fame) in Ireland with the Whiskey Company that still bears his name, Jameson Irish Whiskey.
And so in honour of the celebration of the Day of St. Patrick, I have chosen to review the flagship Whiskey of Jameson brand, Jameson Irish Whiskey. You may read my full review here:
“… The initial aroma in the breezes above glass represents a soft punky sweet butterscotch interlaced with clean oak spices. As the glass breathes, I notice a light woodiness of freshly sanded oak in the background with the wood spices beginning to resemble ginger, cilantro, cardamom, and freshly harvested grain. There is also a mild punky smell within the whiskey which is obviously a reflection of the Irish pot still influence …”
As is my custom, I have included a nice recipe suggestion as part of my review, a classy cocktail I have named, the Emerald Crusta.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!
Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails, Emeral Crusta, Irish Whisky, Jameson, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off on Review: Jameson Irish Whiskey
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2013
A second review for the Day of St. Pat:
The practice of making whisky at the Old Bushmills Distillery can be traced back to 1608 when King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips (landowner and Governor of County of Antrim, Ireland) a royal license to distill ‘uisce beatha’, the gaelic for ‘water of life’. Although this grant serves as the first documented evidence of whisky being distilled at the site which would become Old Bushmills, it was not as yet called Bushmills. By 1743 however, a distillery by this name was (according to Victorian whiskey journalist Alfred Barnard) was “in the hands of smugglers”‘. (However, it was not until 1784 that Hugh Anderson officially registered the Old Bushmills Distillery with the Pot Still as its trade mark.) Today, the Bushmills brand is owned by the Diageo conglomerate with all of the whiskey produced under the Bushmills name produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The Bushmills Black Bush is composed of whiskey aged in Oloroso Sherry and American oak (bourbon) cask. All of this whiskey is aged for up to 7 years with 80 per cent of the blend being Premium Malt Whisky.
Please click on the following excerpt to read the review which contains two great St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, Fool’s Gold on the Rocks, and of course, Irish Coffee:
“… The initial breezes above the glass are warm and inviting. I sense some soft caramel toffee rising into the air with some sweet malty aromas, hints of dry fruit (raisins and apricots), a nice lightly spicy oak presence, and some light impressions of cocoa … “
Please enjoy my second St. Patrick’s Day Review!
(Note: Sample for this review provided by the Diageo Marketing team in Alberta.)
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Black Bush, Bushmills Whiskey, Cocktails and Recipes, Irish Coffee, Irish Whiskey, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off on Review: Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2013
St. Patrick’s Day has rolled around one more time. (Although with a temperature outside at minus seventeen degrees Centigrade and still 40 centimeters of snow still residing on my back lawn it seems more like January than March.) In many places throughout the world, this is a day to revel in the Irish heritage which we either share by birth, or we share by spirit (on St. Patrick’s Day at least). We wear green; we attend parades; and some of us even drink green beer in what has become more of a secular holiday which celebrates Irish culture, than a religious holiday which celebrates the Patron Saint after which the day was first named.
And celebrating Irish culture is not a bad thing; it was after all the Irish who first distilled “uisce beatha“, which translates from Irish into English as “the water of life“. I could go into a long and detailed etymology, but suffice it to say that “uisce beatha” is probably very close to the original form of the word which would later become “whiskey”. My blog is full of reviews of this wonderful spirit, but I must admit it is sorely lacking in content dedicated to the Irish variety.
Today, I will go a small way towards correcting this imbalance by reviewing a whiskey from the Emerald Isle which embodies the character and the class of spirits we call Irish Whiskey; a spirit which can trace its heritage back to 1757, and makes the claim that it is linked to the oldest distillery in Ireland, the Kilbeggan Distillery.
Please click on the following excerpt to read the full review:
“… The Kilbeggan is very pleasant in the glass with a nice warm mahogany colour and initial scents of vanilla, punky toffee, and light sandalwood. As I let the glass breathe, I notice some nice fruity notes (banana and orange peel in particular), a bit of pickle juice, some green grape, and a nice little dollop of almond …”
Of course I have include a nice cocktail for the Day of St. Pat, The Irish Mojito Swizzle.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
(Note: Sample for this review provided by the Alberta Beam Global team)
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Irish Whiskey, Kilbeggan, Kilbeggan Distillery, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off on Review: Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 8, 2012
This was a great year for the Rum Howler with respect to Whisky. I was able to help in a small way with the success of the 3nd Annual Edmonton Whisky Festival; I was selected to be on the North American Panel of Spirit Writers who judged the Canadian Whisky Awards; and I was able to almost double the number of Whisky reviews on my website this year. The result of all of this activity is that the year 2012 saw me taste and score more whisky than ever before. This means that my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Whisky are better than ever.
All of my whisky awards are based upon side by side tastings of the various spirits which are in competition for each particular award. Just as it is with my other Rum Howler Awards, all of the samples which I receive for review in a given year are automatically considered for the awards. I do my review, and then I set aside the remainder of the spirit for the end of the year judging. I also receive additional industry samples specifically for these awards.
And so without further ado, it is time for me to reveal the recipients of my 2012 Rum Howler Awards for Excellence in the Production of Whisky. These Awards are for the best Whisky Spirits I encountered in the year 2012, here is the link:
Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Irish Whskey, Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, DrinkWire, Irish Whiskey, Rum Howler Awards, Scotch Whisky, Whisky Review | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 9, 2012
Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey is traditionally made from a mash comprised of both malted and unmalted barley which is distilled in a pot still. This style of whiskey was apparently produced as a reaction to British taxes on malted whiskey which were introduced in 1802. To reduce the taxable amount on their whisky, Irish distillers began to add more unmalted barley into the distillation. The result was what we have come to know as Irish Pure Pot Still Whisky.
Writers Tears Pot Still Irish Whisky contains both Single Malt Whiskey and the aforementioned Pure Pot Still Whiskey in its construction. As is the tradition in Ireland, the whiskey is triple distilled and matured in American Oak (bourbon) barrels. I was sent a bottle of the Writers Tears to review here on my website and asked to coordinate the publication of the review to coincide roughly with the reintroduction of the whiskey to the Ontario market (on October 14) after an absence of about one year from the store shelves.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“… The initial aroma from the glass has a bit of a bourbon flair complemented by honeyed butterscotch, punky Halloween toffee, oak spices, and obvious taints of vanilla and almond. There is a bit of citrus orange peel in the air and an underlying herbal element which to me has a resemblance to freshly cut lowland hay, willow thickets, and those lush ferns that grow near wetlands… “
You may read my full review here:
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Irish Whiskey, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey, WritersTears | 2 Comments »
Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 15, 2012
Yesterday I shared a few of my rum experiences which were, let me say, less than enjoyable. The list was meant to help you avoid similar pitfalls in your search for a suitable rum to buy Dad for Father’s Day. Today, I think it is only fair, that I also list a few of the whisky decisions I have regretted as well. The list I came up with, isn’t really a list of horrible whiskies that left me gasping (although a couple are). It is more of a list of whiskies which in some way tainted my enjoyment such that I kind of wished I had never succumbed to their charm in the bottle.
They made me run to them, and then they made me run from them, kind of like that Gloria Jones song covered by Soft Cell:
These are my regrets, and I publish this list in hopes that I can help you avoid a regret or two this Father’s Day. (Just for the fun of it, I think I will count them down in reverse order starting with a few minor regrets, working my way to my biggest whisky regret.)
Happy Father’s Day Everyone!
Posted in American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, Howls, Irish Whskey, Japanese Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: American Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, Father's Day, Irish Whiskey, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, Whisky Review | Comments Off on For Father’s Day – Avoiding my 10 Whisky Regrets
Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2012
March 17 has rolled around again, and March 17 is the day of St. Patrick.
Just as I did one year ago, I have chosen an Irish Whiskey to review such that in a very small way I celebrate in the culture of the Emerald Isle. Celebrating Irish culture is a good thing; it was after all the Irish who first distilled ‘uisce beatha’, which translates from Old Irish into English as ‘the water of life’. I could go into a long and detailed etymology; but suffice it to say that ‘uisce beatha’ is probably very close to the original form of the word which would later become ‘whiskey’.
The subject of my St. Patrick’s Day review, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, has a history which is traced back to 1829 when the Tullamore Distillery was founded in Tullamore, County Offaly by Michael Molloy. However, it was in 1887, after the death of Michael Molloy, that the Daly family who ran the distillery turned the daily operations over to a man named Daniel E Williams. Mr. Williams is given much of the credit for the expansion and development of the distillery and of course the whisky which bears his initials D-E-W. The Distillery’s original slogan, “Give every man his Dew” is still in use today.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“…As I let the glass decant the oak scents wafted into the breezes scenting the air with balsam, sandalwood and ginger. Glimpses of malty sweetness rise from the glass as does a light nuttiness that reminds me of roasted walnuts. The overall effect is light and refreshing, especially as the balsam note gains a little momentum…”
You may read the full review here:
And just to top things off I have constructed a nice cocktail to help you celebrate the Day of St. Pat, The Emerald Cooler.
Please enjoy the review and my St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail!
Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Irish Whskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Cocktails and Recipes, Irish Whiskey, St. Patrick's Day, Tullamore Dew, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off on Review: Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 21, 2012
The practice of making whisky at the Old Bushmills Distillery can be traced back to 1608 when King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips a royal licence to distill ‘uisce beatha’, the gaelic for ‘water of life’. This grant serves as the first documented evidence of the distillation of whiskey at the site although at that time it was not yet called Bushmills. The first known reference to the Old Bushmills Distillery was in 1743 when, according to Victorian whiskey journalist Alfred Barnard, the site was “in the hands of smugglers”‘. Now over 400 years later, the Bushmills brand is owned by Diageo, however all of the whiskey produced under the Bushmills name is still produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The Bushmills 16 Yr Old Single Malt is composed of whiskey distilled three times. A portion of the whiskey is aged in American oak (bourbon) casks and a portion is aged in Spanish oak (Oloroso sherry) casks. All of this whiskey is aged for 16 or more years. The final whiskey is blended prior to finishing in old oak Port wine pipes. With such a variety of oak used in the aging and finishing in there is the potential for great complexity.
I revisited the Bushmills 16 year Old Single Malt recently, and when I looked over my original review, I was quite pleased that my impressions were very consistent over two years later. I decided to take a little time to fix some typos and to clarify some points in the review. As well I added a new introduction. Here is a link to my revised review of this Bushmills whiskey which was originally published in November of 2009:
Please enjoy the review!
Posted in Irish Whskey, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: Bushmills Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Single Malt Whisky, Whisk(e)y Review | Comments Off on Revisiting: Bushmills 16yr Old Single Malt