This ominous sounding whiskey has been named after an unmarked alley between Bow Street & James Street in Dublin. As the supporting marketing explains, during the early 1600’s many men, women and children met an unpleasant fate on that lane in the Liberties area. This 13 year old single malt has been procured from an undisclosed source, adding to the mystique of the whiskey. The spirit has been matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and then finished in Hungarian Tokaj wine casks (that’s a known wine region in Hungary as Google reliably informs me) before being presented for your consumption at 46% ABV.
This immediately smells like ye olde sweet shoppes. There’s a real floral and vanilla like sugary sweetness to this that conjures images of sugar dusted jawbreakers in tall glass jars. Those and little wrappers of parma violets, as it has a sherbet-like sweetness and fizzle to the nose. I know it’s not a Scottish dram but there’s a heathery quality to it too and light nuttiness.
That sugary sweetness has now become more of a solid, chocolatey sensation. Milk chocolate and honey comb spring to mind. Maybe it’s a strong bourbon cask influence or the Hungarian oak casks but there seems to be a syrupy lactose sweetness to this that makes the lips smack and gets the mouth going. There’s a delicious tropical fruit kind of zest dancing around the palate too.
Despite the minimum 13 years that this whiskey has been exposed to its barrels, the oak only really starts to show its face at the end of this whiskey’s profile. That sherbet tingle that has been on the periphery of taste sensations now builds into a zesty and peppery finale.
To be honest, when I first saw this whiskey’s name, I thought it said “Murder One”. The font and Motörhead-like connotations tricked me into thinking that. That and all of the hell references to the Liberties area of Dublin. Come to think of it, the names of these Dublin Liberties whiskies remind me more of band names and songs that I would listen to as a devout metal head more than the flavours that they offer. In fact, this whiskey is far from satanic on the tastebuds – which is a good thing! The more that I try Irish whiskies, the more that I realise that they can be so varied. This 13yo single malt displays that light and sweet body that I’ve got to know through the years via the more familiar and cheaper (but still quality) Irish Whiskey brands BUT with a lot more depth of feel and flavour. There’s a lovely more-ish quality that suggests that you could have a damn good night on this, whilst also being able to take time back to savour it. It’s kind of like the Session IPA principle of beers really. A little bit more interesting, but still very palatable. At €130 per bottle, it is a bit too steep for my short arms and deep pockets but would make for a great drop as part of an evening’s proceedings! In fact, this would make a great double act with a nice IPA! I’d murder that!
Sample disclosure: This sample was shared as part of a promotional Tweet Tasting event for The Dublin Liberties brand, organised by Steve Rush of The Whisky Wire. All notes are however intended as a fair, honest and independent review of the whiskies. If I didn’t like it, you’d know about it!