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Archive for the ‘Irish Whskey’ Category

Review: Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength – Batch B1/16

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2017

red-beast-cask-strength-sam_3021The town of Midleton (near Cork City) is home to the largest distillery in Ireland, aptly named the Midleton Distillery. This distillery is part of the Pernod-Ricard group of companies, and it is home to a variety of Irish Whiskey Brands. Powers, Paddy, Tullamore Dew, and Red Breast all are distilled at the Midleton Distillery, as is of course, the largest selling Irish Whiskey Brand in the world, Jameson.  (Incidentally, the Jameson Brand is also part of the Pernod-Ricard conglomerate of companies.)

The Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength Irish Whiskey is made from a mash of Malted and unmalted barley which is triple distilled in copper pot stills and aged in first fill Olorosso sherry casks. The spirit is non-chill filtered and bottled at 57.2% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength – Batch B1/16

“… Reviewers of whisky often talk about a long lingering finish. This one is the real deal as the combination of oily pot still whisky and concentrated cask strength flavours ensure that a full 20 minutes after swallowing the whiskey I can still taste its rich goodness. This is about as perfect as the exit can be …”

Please enjoy my St. Patrick’s Day review of this stunning Irish Whisky.

Chimo!

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Review: Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 15, 2017

jameson-select-reserve-sb-sam_3020John Jameson, a Scotsman, established the company that bears his name in the year 1780, in Dublin Ireland. The popularity of Jameson Irish Whiskey grew steadily, and by the early 1800’s it was the most popular whiskey in the world. Social and political events such as the temperance movement in Ireland, and the Irish War of Independence (which caused a trade war with Britain) caused Jameson to lose its position as the world leader in whiskey sales, however in spite of these set backs, Jameson remains the third largest single distillery whiskey brand in the World.

The Jameson Select Reserve Small batch Irish Whiskey is a blended whiskey produced with from both Pot Still Irish Whiskey (said to be 12 years old) and a smaller amount of Irish Grain Whiskey (said to be 5 years old). The grain whiskey within the blend is apparently made only once per year and is exclusive to this particular brand.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Jameson Select Reserve Small Batch Irish Whiskey

” … The whiskey has a medium length finish which features a both spicy oak and lively fruit flavours. With ice added vanilla and milk chocolate become the focus in the exit. Either way with or without ice, this is Yumm …”

Please enjoy the second of my Irish Whiskey reviews to help you get ready for St. Patrick’s Day.

Chimo!

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Review: Tullamore Dew Finest Old Irish Whiskey (12 Years Old)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 10, 2017

irish-splash-sam_3025Tullamore Dew Finest Old Irish Whisky has been replaced in the Tullamore lineup by the new 12 Year Old Special Reserve, however bottles of the 12 Year Old Finest are still available (at least in my locale).

Tullamore Dew Whisky is composed of three different mature Irish Whiskies: Irish Pot Still Whiskey, which is distilled three times in a giant copper ‘pot’ still from a mash of malted barley as well as other cereal grains; Irish Grain Whiskey which is distilled on a multiple (two or three) column continuously operating ‘patent’ still from a corn (or maize) based mash with small amounts of malted barley; and Irish Malt Whiskey which is distilled three times on a pot still using only malted barley.

The Tullamore Dew Finest Old Irish Whisky was matured for a minimum of 12 years in oak barrels and bottled at 40% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Tullamore Dew Finest Old Irish Whiskey

“… The initial breezes above the glass bring fine oak spice and punky caramel with light almond and vanilla accents. As I let the glass breathe the fine oak spices gained momentum, cereal grain joined in along with light baking spices (vanilla, ginger and cinnamon) and the almond aroma deepened somewhat towards marzipan …”

Please enjoy my review which begins a short series of Irish Whiskey reviews which I will publish on the run-up to St. Patrick’s Day.

Chimo!

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Review: Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 22, 2016

Powers SAM_1660Powers Irish Whiskey is a blend of triple distilled pot still & grain whiskeys produced at the Midleton Distillery in Cork County. The pot still portion of the whiskey is produced from malted barley which is dried in enclosed kilns. This prevents the barley from accumulating any smokey flavour during the drying process. This malted barley is then ground together with unmalted barley. The milled grain is mixed with water and cultivated brewing yeast, creating a mash indigenous to Irish Whiskey. During fermentation the starches of the combined barleys are converted to alcohol. The ‘wash’ that is produced is then triple distilled and carefully maturated to ultimately become pot still whiskey. This pot still whiskey is blended with grain whiskeys to produce Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey.

My bottle of Powers Gold Label was a gift from a friend who visited Ireland last summer. Apparently the domestic bottling in the UK has a slightly lower proof (40 % ABV) than the bottling which is exported to the USA (43.2 %).

Here is a link to my review of this popular Irish Whiskey Brand:

Review: Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey

“… The whiskey is surprisingly creamy in the mouth. It is smooth and easy to sip. I taste the grain whiskey much more prominently than the Irish Pot Distilled whiskey which perhaps disappoints me a little. Grain and fine wood spices mingle with bits of butterscotch and vanilla pudding …”

Please enjoy my review!

Chimo!

 

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Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 18, 2016

Knappague12 YrKnappogue Castle Irish Whiskey is produced by Castle Brands who are an international owner of premium spirits brands which are sold primarily in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Irish whiskey brand pays homage to the historic Knappogue Castle in County Clare, Ireland which was originally built by Clan MacNamara in 1467.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a triple distilled Irish Whiskey (most probably produced at the Middleton Distillery) made from unpeated barley one batch at a time in copper pot stills. The spirit is aged in ex-bourbon barrels for at least 12 years.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey

“… The immediate nose is appealing with scents of budding willow trees alongside sandalwood and grain spice. There is also a beguiling malty sweetness. The spirit seems very mellow and approachable, and this suits my current mood as the winter snow is melting in the backyard and the warm sunshine of springtime is heading my way.”

Please enjoy my review of this wonderful Irish Whiskey.

Chimo!

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#30 Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 25, 2015

The town of Midleton, near Cork City, is home to the largest distillery in Ireland, aptly named the Midleton Distillery. This distillery is part of the Pernod-Ricard group of companies, and it is home to a variety of Irish Whiskey Brands. Powers, Paddy, Tullamore Dew, and Red Breast all are distilled at the Midleton Distillery, as is of course, the largest selling Irish Whiskey Brand in the world, Jameson.  (Incidentally, the Jameson Brand is also part of the Pernod-Ricard conglomerate of companies.)

Jameson 18 Limited ReserveThe Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey is a blended Irish Whiskey, the components of which are matured for a minimum of 18 years in a combination of American Bourbon Oak and Spanish Olorosso Sherry Oak Casks. The whiskey includes both grain and pure pot still whiskey varieties and is finished in fresh fill Bourbon barrels. This is the upper end of the Jameson range, and although it has been in regular production since 2002, it is considered to be a connoisseur’s whiskey and is produced in rather limited quantities each year.

Here is a link to the review of the #30 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown of the best spirits I have ever tasted.

#30 – Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve

“… The initial aroma from the glass is of a punky sweet butterscotch and mildly spicy toffee with obvious notes of marzipan. As the glass decants I notice a light woodiness developing, and a light scent of rum in the air with some brown sugar aromas. The overall effect is quite nice …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

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#47 Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey (15YR)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 8, 2015

In 1988 John Teeling bought the Cooley 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 were 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 the stuff of legend.

Old Fashioned with GreenoreOne of the more innovative products produced under the Cooley banner is the Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey. At the time of my review (in 2010) it was the only single grain Irish Whiskey which was produced from a double distillation of a single grain (corn) in a continuous column still. The whiskey was aged in used bourbon barrels for 15 years and bottled at 43% alcohol by volume.

Here is a link to the review of the #47 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#47 – Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey (15YR) 

“… This is unmistakably a corn whiskey with tasty cereal corn flakes  providing the platform upon which all else has been built. The initial delivery of the whiskey leads out with rich oak spice and honey. A sweet vanilla bourbon flavour swamps the taste-buds, and early into the tasting, I am fully aware that this whisky is unlike any Irish whisky I have tasted previously …”

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You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

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Review: Paddy Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 29, 2015

Paddy SAM_1540Several 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:

Review: Paddy Irish Whiskey

“… 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.

Chimo!

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Review: Teeling Irish Whiskey (Small Batch)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 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.

Emerald Crusta

Emerald Crusta

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:

Review: Teeling Irish Whiskey (Small Batch)

“… 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!

 

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Review: Jameson Irish Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 17, 2014

Emerald Crusta SAM_1076Today 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:

Review: Jameson Irish Whiskey

“… 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!

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