Monthly Archives: November 2017

Tasting Notes: Tullamore DEW Special Reserve 12 Years Old

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Tullamore DEW 12 Years Old

Tasted as part of the recent Dram Team subscription package, this whiskey is actually only readily available as a travel retail bottling from Tullamore DEW – or “Tully” as their fans more often refer to it. What this “Special Reserve” contains is a blended batch of pot still, malt and grain whiskies that have been matured in a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon barrels over the course of 12+ years.

40% ABV

 

Nose

M: Bit more going on here than their standard offering. This has a woodier, maltier nose. The distillery’s characteristic sweetness is there, but dark sugars are here now in place of the lighter, vanilla sweetness. Sweet biscuity-like flavours are there too, like hobnobs and digestives. The alcohol gives the nose a fair tingle too.

 

 

Taste

M: That digestive biscuit flavour really comes out when it hits the tongue. There’s a sort of wholemeal-meets-cereal flavour that dominates. After a little bit of time there seems to be a bit of honey poured onto that porridge mix of flavours bringing out a sweetness and a little oaky tang at the back which leaves a few, gentle, spiced elements on the way down.

 

 

Finish

M: The booze intensifies a little down the throat meaning that those malty, biscuity flavours fade away pretty quickly. Fairly lingering finish.

 

 

Verdict

M: This was a really enjoyable dram. It has still got that Irish sweet, silky texture about it but the wood and grains seem to have a lot more of a say than the standard bottling’s toffee blast. Thankfully there is not so much of the dreaded “creamy mouthfeel” here from this Irish whiskey either, though it is still satisfyingly smooth. The influences of the oak from the 12+ years of maturation really help round this whiskey out into an easy sipping drink with a little something more about it. Very easy drinking.

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Tasting Notes: Tullamore DEW

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The Legendary Tullamore DEW

Tullamore DEW is one of the most recognisable Irish whiskey brands, seen the world over. In fact, it is the second largest Irish whiskey brand, only pipped to the post by that “James” guy, or whatever he’s called… The distinctive squat bottle and clover-green label contains their “original” expression, which is a blend of triple distilled pot still, malt and grain whiskies made to their own recipe since the early 19th Century. The blend has been matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon barrels and sherry casks. Story has it that the DEW is not the water that goes into the whiskey, but the initials of one of the distillery’s previous owners.

40% ABV

 

Nose

M: Honey and toffee in abundance. Has it had a swirl of the old caramel stick? Maybe. There’s also a light, floral nose behind the sugary sweetness and a just a smidge of a malty grist too.

 

Taste

M: Delicious sweetness and toffee comes in again. Just like a boozy toffee penny. There’s not too much else going on than that sweetness, but it gets to the point, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

 

Finish

M: So quick and smooth. Super silky, in fact. Like a vanilla ice cream kind of finish. Hardly leaves a tingle of booze at all.

 

Verdict

M: Overall, this is very easy drinking. Inoffensive really. As the world’s second largest Irish whiskey blend and having been triple distilled, it obviously carries with the “Smooth” and “Creamy mouthfeel” characteristics – not that I like saying those words at all. Personally, this is what I’ve always been led to be believe that “Irish Whiskey” should taste like. I’d be very interested to do a blind taste test side by side with a Jameson Original to see if I could distinguish the two. Like I say, it’s a very easy drinker. Definitely too easy. Dangerous when you could too easily drink a lot of it – which I guess is the point and fits the stereotype. It certainly warms the soul, even if not the tastebuds.

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Tasting Notes: Invergordon 21 Years Old (Douglas Laing)

Invergordon 21yo (Douglas Laing – Old Particular)

Douglas Laing & Co (not to be confused with Hunter Laing) have a history steeped in whisky, having been independently bottling whiskies since 1948. With their history and enviable stock of old and rare casks, the Old Particular series of whiskies displays their premium collection of hand-selected casks – only exceeded by their Xtra Old Particular series (aka “XOP”). This single grain scotch whisky features in the Old Particular range of limited releases (only 204 bottles available from that single cask). This whisky has been selected from the Invergordon distillery and showcases a 21 year old single grain that has been matured in bourbon refill casks, delivered up at a punchy 52.8%

Nose

M: Vanilla hits the nose straight away. Toffee sweetness. Toasty cereals. A little cigar smoke at the back and a decent boozy burn.

 

Taste

M: The vanilla flavour from the nose just increases and intensifies. The cereal notes in there kinda remind me of baking. Put the two together: Belgian waffles!!

 

Finish

M: The booze only really appears on the finish and it intensifies and tingles on the way down. It’s a pretty long finish and that vanilla flavour just lingers throughout.

 

Verdict

M: For something with such a high ABV, the booze only really shows up at the end and let’s the vanilla from the barrel do a lot of the talking upfront. A little toasty flavour that, along with the vanilla, reminds me of Belgian waffles and that flavour comes back well after having finished the dram and the boozy burn having eventually subsided. This was a Dram Team miniature and their tasting notes also referenced waffles as well as creme brûlée, which I totally get now, after the event – and that’s one of my favourite puddings! The flavours here are definitely all about the desserts, and it’s age and booze content give it a decent body – though if this was a blind tasting, I’d have never guessed that it was 21 years old. The 50+ percentage left a bit of a sting on the way down and a lower percentage might have made for one of the smoothest drams ever.

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