Posts Tagged With: Irish

Triple Tipple: Tullamore DEW

Sound the alliteration alarm on this article as we explore a tweet tasting triple tipple of Tully treats.

 

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Tullamore DEW Irish Whiskey Tweet Tasting

 

 

The tasting notes for each whiskey in the tweet tasting have been published separately as follows:

Tullamore DEW XO Rum Cask Finish

Tullamore DEW 14 Years Old

Tullamore DEW 18 Years Old

The tweet tasting did also feature the classic Tullamore DEW Original (tasting notes also available here), but the drams listed above were the real stars of the show as they are a little more difficult to come by and made for an interesting compare and contrast against one another.

 

Nose

One common theme throughout these whiskies were the distinctive fruity flavours. Within the XO Rum Cask Finish, there was a clear tropical influence with pineapples and lemons being an usual whiskey element, but these were lighter and more delicate in comparison to the 14yo, which had a much more rounded fruity flavour profile (think oranges, clementines) whilst still seeming light and fresh. The 18yo on the other hand was all about the dark fruits, and had a stronger, richer, fruitcake profile of flavours rather than smelling of the fruits themselves. The 18yo had the strongest nose by far and certainly had the oak profile to recognise its length of time in a barrel, which strangely, the 14yo had little to imitate.

 

Taste

As with any whisk(e)y tasting flight, the age is usually the defining characteristic that sets the flavour profiles apart, and that was certainly the case here, with neither the XO Rum Cask Finish nor the 14yo displaying much of a woody feature in the nose nor in the taste but those additional 4 years of maturation (and presumably distillers’ choosing) really made a difference, with the 18 yo having a really strong, if not overpowering oak spice. The XO Rum Cask did have its own spice element, but that was gentle and worked with the tropical fruity flavours, but it seems crazy that 14 years in a barrel for the 14yo imparted no trace of oak spice whatsoever, yet the 18yo had that spice in abundance. What the 14yo did have though was a fully rounded-out flavour profile with fruit and malt-meets-grain-meets-cereal underpinning it all.

 

Finish

Whilst each whiskey held their own individually, when going back and to forth between the whiskies, it was clear that age also seemed to affect the finish and body of the whiskies too, with the XO Rum Cask Finish having quite a thin, watery body by comparison.  On the other end of the spectrum, what the 18yo lacked in softness, it made up for in flavours and body with a much thicker, oily, woody, pungent and powerful delivery (particularly when considering it has the alcohol percentage as the 14yo). Sat in the middle on the body and finish was therefore the 14yo, but actually, what this whiskey did display, which the others didn’t is that classic triple-distilled Irish whiskey creaminess and rounded, softness to the finish.

 

Verdict

Overall, there wasn’t a bad dram amongst the three, but I did think that the XO Rum Cask Finish and 14yo were immediately more enjoyable overall that then 18yo, and of those two the 14yo featured more of the characteristics that I would associated with Irish whiskey, but with the longer maturation and combination of cask finishes bringing out a juicier orange fruit element that complemented the creamy body and malt-and-grain backbone really well. To pick a champion of the three, I would have to go with the 14yo. Whilst this might just appear that I too easily sit in the middle of the road, I thought they were all good whiskies with their own characters and flavours to offer in their own right, but this whiskey particularly had the most to offer without extremes of flavours and without compromise.

 

Thanks to Steve Rush @TheWhiskyWire and his @TweetTastings for the samples and of course to all at Tullamore DEW for the opportunity to enjoy and review.

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Tasting Notes: Tullamore DEW – 18 Years Old

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Tullamore Tweet Tasting

Traditionally known for their blend of triple distilled pot still, malt and grain whiskies, Tullamore D.E.W. have developed a core range of whiskies that showcase their blends and barrel influences. There are however, exceptions to this key formula, and the Tullamore D.E.W. 18 years old release is a single malt offering, i.e. comprised of solely (triple) distilled malted barley whiskies only. Limited to fewer than 2,500 bottles, this 18 year old has been finished in a combination of Bourbon, Port, Madeira and Oloroso Sherry casks. That’s only 20 barrels’ worth produced annually. Released as a special edition in 2016, this whisky is bottled at the very specific 41.3% ABV.

 

 

Nose 

Now there’s a good whack of oak to begin with. Give it a minute and the dark wine influences make for a strong dark/demerara sugar smell. In fact it reminds me of cakes being baked. Someone’s put a lot icing on this fruit cake too.  After a little while that thick fruit and sugary nose merges to the scent of cola cubes! Really, it does.

 

Taste

That cola style of dense sugary sweetness is now countered by quite a lot of spice. There’s some good, toasty oak in there behind it too. The fruitiness remains though. Think wintry desserts – like apple and raisin puddings. Makes for bit of sherry meets cherry and berry cake.

 

Finish

Ah, There’s something amiss here. The flavour profiles are swiftly burned off with a strong, pine-y finish. It has a kind of table polish meets cleaning chemicals aftertaste. Once the alcohol has worn off though, there seems to be a bit of a shortcake biscuit final profile of flavours – sweet, malty and cereal-like.

 

Verdict

Maybe its just the fact that this is a single malt from Tullamore D.E.W. rather than the pot still blend, but this has quite a bit of bite. Its age and multiple maturations means that the strong port, madeira and oloroso barrel influences really make themselves known, particularly the wood itself from those barrels, as opposed to the previous contents, bringing some spice to the fruity flavours. I may have just been on an off night, or it could have been a funny bottling (maybe something got in there) but the alcoholic burn itself and chemically taste made for an unpleasant interruption in an otherwise pleasant experience. The lasting memory for me however will be that lingering shortcake biscuit flavour – you know the ones: the star-shaped biscuits with raisins in and covered in lots of sugar. The flavours did linger and develop and overall it had lots of interesting elements, but there was nothing collectively outstanding about it.

 

Sample disclosure: This sample was provided as part of a tweet tasting, courtesy of Mr Steve Rush at @TheWhiskyWire and @TweetTastings – I’m sure he has some sort of minimum criteria, but if we can make it, then so can you! If you want to find some of those tweets from the night, then just go onto Twitter and look through the #TullamoreDEW and give him a follow and/or go over to http://www.thewhiskywire.com for more details.

Categories: Tasting Notes, Tullamore DEW | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tasting Notes: Tullamore DEW – XO Rum Cask Finish

 

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Tullamore Tweet Tasting

In their quest for further flavour profiles and experimentation, Tullamore D.E.W. have released their XO Rum Cask Finish triple distilled whiskey. The final product contains a blend of pot still, malt and grain Irish whiskeys, all of which have initially been matured in a combination of ex-Irish, bourbon and sherry casks, before being finished in first fill XO Demerara rum casks from Guyana to extract some of that sweet, tropical and spicy taste of further shores. The final whiskey has been bottled at 43% ABV and is available from select retailers. Without further a D.E.W…

 

 

Nose

Well, I’ve heard of salted caramel, but this initial nose seems to deliver up a salted and peppered caramel!? Is that a thing now? If this nose is anything to go by, then yes. It is sweet and firey at the same time, and has that classic Irish grassy/hay-like smell underneath. A little bit of an astringent finale.

 

Taste

Again, what I was predicting, and what I tasted are at odds, because I was expecting the rum cask finish to put in a lot of vanilla into the classic Tully flavour, but instead it’s offering up a large, rounded, and buttery body and toffee sweetness with a grassy and citrus zest (lemongrass?) backbone, and a white-peppery spice to finish.

 

Finish

After such a series of sensations, this whiskey disappears surprisingly quickly and leaves behind a strong, toasty and warming tingle throughout your throat and chest, but without much of the sweet flavour you’ve just enjoyed and developed a hankering for. The mouth is left with a little spice and a sense of intrigue and desire to get those flavours back and explore more.

 

Verdict

Having read about this whiskey and knowing that it was finished in rum casks, I thought I knew what to expect, and was looking for those tropical flavours that the blurb was promoting (I was thinking pineapples and swathes of vanilla)… the classic power of suggestion. Instead, this whiskey seemed to take the classic Tullamore DEW Original flavours that I’ve become very familiar with, and amplified all of the key components, without becoming too loud or compromising on the quality. Is that extra spice there from the rum itself or just form the extra exposure to the barrels’ oak? Whatever the science behind it, this remains a super light Irish whiskey, and has all the hallmarks of an Irish dram with a little something else to it, resulting in a very easy-drinking, if not just over too soon – its like a whiskey in a hurry.

 

Sample disclosure: This sample was provided as part of a tweet tasting, courtesy of Mr Steve Rush at @TheWhiskyWire and @TweetTastings – I’m sure he has some sort of minimum criteria, but if we can make it, then so can you! If you want to find some of those tweets from the night, then just go onto Twitter and look through the #TullamoreDEW and give him a follow and/or go over to http://www.thewhiskywire.com for more details.

 

Categories: Tasting Notes, Tullamore DEW | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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