Posts Tagged With: Madeira

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.

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Tasting Notes: Tullamore DEW – 14 Years Old

 

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Tullamore Tweet Tasting

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.

 

 

Nose 

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.

 

Taste

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.

 

Finish

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.

 

Verdict

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.

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

Tasting Notes: Penderyn – Myth

Penderyn – Myth

In 2015, Penderyn expanded their core output of whiskies with a brand new range of releases, aimed at the more affordable single malt whisky market. The Penderyn “Myth” sits within this “Dragon” series of expressions , alongside its no-age-statement bedfellows “Legend” and “Celt”. The three releases have all been bottled at 41% ABV and feature the Welsh spirit having been matured in different cask finishes. This “Myth” release has been aged “in a range of specially selected ex-red wine and ex-bourbon casks” and comes in at roughly £35 RRP.
41% ABV 

Nose

M: Quite a piercing alco-burn on the nose to begin with. Once that subsides there’s a syrupy sweet smell to the whisky. A bit more time and there is vanilla, red fruits and cake-like flavours all present – basically like a Victoria sponge! A little soapy/perfumed at the end though.

Taste

M: Woody flavours up front and then sweetness spreads. Dark sugars this time though. I’m thinking more in the realms of a sticky toffee pudding, with dark fruits and a little cakey spice. Marsala wine on the close.

Finish

M: Oh, this dram warms you up from the inside out, for sure. Almost too much. A bit heartburn-y but those sweet flavours linger to even it out.

Verdict

M: Well, I can’t blame Penderyn for exploiting their main USP in the whisky world here: being Welsh. And it doesn’t get much more Welsh than having the national flag’s dragon emblazoned across the packaging and the blurb embellishing on nation’s proud history and patriotism. Given my previous experiences across the years however with the Penderyn Madeira, I was a bit tentative going into this but still hoping for bigger and better things from the Dragon series. I’ve read that the Penderyn Legend is essentially the same liquid as the Madeira finish release but watered down to 41% ABV.  This is probably a good thing as I thought that the full Madeira, at 46% ABV, needed a fair bit of harnessing with water – proving to be a fine balance to avoid adding so much water as to kill it.  A few years ago I tried a Penderyn “41” expression which I remember liking much more than the Madeira, and I’m not sure if that expression is now replicated as the Myth or the Legend (Celt is a peated expression), but either way, this Penderyn Myth has been a better dramming experience in my book. A lighter dram by colour and body but with some heavy hitting flavours still amongst the melee. A touch of water helps again, as it still has that youthful power and burn but the sweet, fruity and woody elements are far more noticeable and appreciable here.

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