Posts Tagged With: Irish Whiskey

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 – Original

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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: The Pogues Irish Whiskey

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The Pogues Irish Whiskey

Released by West Cork Distillers, The Pogues Irish Whiskey is a blended whiskey that has been matured in oak barrels for just three years and one day (i.e. exactly as long as needed to technically call it “whiskey”). The packaging notes that the whiskey is “bottled by West Cork Distillers”, but being a blend and without a statement to the effect, there is no apparent information as to whether or not it is crafted and distilled there too – but you’d hope so! The blend is reportedly a 50:50 split of grain and malt Irish whiskies and was crafted by two entrants in the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame: Irish master blender Barry Walsh and longtime Springbank maestro Frank McHardy. The packaging and bottle is branded with The Pogues lyric “I am going where streams of whiskey are flowing”, so with that, let’s pour some and get it flowing…

ABV: 40%

 

Nose
M: So many woody smells in there and a sweet lingering something. It’s kinda oaky, kinda piney, kinda something else. Whatever it is, it stands out.

Taste
M: A bit harsh upfront with the booze but the woody flavours fade away to some vanilla sweetness. Slightly orangey towards the end.

Finish
M: A decent coating of the throat but the flavours do not really hang around. It’s a chest warming boozy delivery but thankfully, without burning a hole though it.

Verdict
A totally woody nose (which is surprising given its young, young age), which makes way for sweet vanilla, chewy malts and gentle fruit. The classic Irish whiskey ‘mouthfeel’ is there (just) with a little fruit and spice along the way. A touch of water helped to tame the harsher delivery, and whilst it didn’t reveal any other flavours, it did bring out the vanilla sweetness a bit more. It’s an enjoyable sipping whiskey. I’ve grown up with The Pogues’ music accompanying many a boozy evening and was hoping that they wouldn’t put their name to something terrible… and they haven’t. It didn’t blow my mind or anything like that but it wasn’t unpleasant in any way either, but that’s just personal opinion. The fact that it has some slick branding behind it and the backing of an Irish musical and cultural institution will undoubtedly shift the units and I’d be surprised if there were not further releases or variants of this made in the future, following its initial decent sales and positive reviews. At the price point for a good Irish whiskey, it would certainly make for a good gift too… particularly for when the bells are ringing out…

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