Apparently, this Tullamore D.E.W. has seldom been seen on British shores and has often been sold by the Irish whiskey-makers within the travel retail and foreign exclusive markets. Sampled here as part of a Tweet Tasting however, this 14 year old whiskey, takes the classic combination of Tullamore D.E.W. by blending their signature concoction of three grains and their pot still, malt and grain whiskies, and then maturing the whiskies in a variety of bourbon, port, madeira and oloroso sherry casks. That’s a whole load of casks! The distillery releases limited quantities of this expression however, with the distillery only producing 200 or so barrels annually, and then bottling the final product at the very precise 41.3% ABV.
Oh, it’s tingly! The leading fragrance that I get from this is the sweet, floral nose of parma violets. Getting past that smell, the sherbet sweetness is joined by woody oak flavours and toffee. Lots of little flavours and smells coming out afterwards, including some juicy pineapple and apples.
The trip to the sweet shop continues, and the overwhelming flavour matches that of ‘Fruit Salad’ chewy sweets! Honest! Well, its a combination of oranges and pineapple. All that fruit on the nose remains present too but the oak is now making an appearance to bring the wood and spice to underline the whiskey’s age. The base grains haven’t entirely disappeared after the 14 years either.
Such a well-rounded and creamy finish! I mean, like, really creamy. It would be too obvious to say Irish cream, right, but that’s what it is like. The fruit flavours just tingle away amidst that sugary sweetness, and the soft texture and finish just slip off the tongue. Delicate, but not without flavour.
This is a lovely drop. The whiskey is bursting with fruits, malts, cereals and a freshness that belies its age. It is because of this freshness that this whiskey seems, at first, quite young to the taste, but once savoured, that soft texture indicates that all that time within the various barrels has extinguished the initial fire out of the original components. On that note, the number of barrels that go into making this blend are clearly drawing out numerous influences to make this such a fresh and fruity dram. Presumably getting the right number of barrels and maturation of each component to get this flavour profile year on year must be the reason why it has a limited release. That will presumably also affect the price per bottle too, which is a real shame because I would definitely recommend this as a light, summery whiskey for anybody to try, but particularly as a soft introductory whiskey for someone looking to get into whiskey but who fears the ‘burn’ of a traditional whiskey – once I’ve finished with them, they’ll soon get used to that! That initial price point might just prevent that from happening, but presumably someone is buying is year in, year out, for it to be a regular (albeit limited) exponent and if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle, then you are in for a sweet treat.