Posts Tagged With: Oloroso

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

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: Kilchoman – Loch Gorm (2017)

 

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Kilchoman – Loch Gorm

The Loch Gorm expression by Kilchoman is an annual release which is exclusively matured in sherry casks. Since its introduction in 2012, the annual release has garnered a loyal following and has quickly sold out upon its availability. Given that the premise of the release is that this is an annual offering, the distillers are not beholden to ensuring the same flavour profile year on year, but instead focus on the quality of each year’s bottling, albeit with the same premise that the whisky has been solely matured in sherry casks. The series of whiskies gets its name from a large, peated loch just north of the Kilchoman farm. The 2017 release features a blend of Kilchoman’s purely oloroso sherry cask matured whiskies dating back to 2009, and has been bottled at Kilchoman’s preferred 46% ABV.

 

 

Nose

Named after a peaty loch, you say? One sniff, and you’ll know why. After the punchy, astringent, peaty blast however, there are some juicy, fruity smells that lurk beneath the surface. Think of big fresh oranges with a little bit of a citrusy, lemon peel burst.

 

Taste

If peated marmalade is not already a thing, then someone needs to crack on and use this dram as the master for the flavour profile. It has got the orange flavour down to a tee, complemented by sugary sweetness and a peat fire punchiness. There’s even a little bit of festive spice thrown into the mix (think cloves and Christmas cake). If this could be spread on toast, I wouldn’t consider anything else for breakfast.

 

Finish

That fruity zest fizzles out and an oak spice takes over. The Kilchoman camp fire is still burning here throughout, but that syrupy orange fruit profile is now tinged with a black pepper finish.

 

Verdict

This may be sacrilege to the whisky elite, but this tastes like a peated Pimms – again, if this isn’t already a thing, then this needs to be worked on quickly! The peat profile is distinctly Kilchoman in nature, but whereas the bourbon-centric maturation of Machir Bay brings out a lot of  vanilla, the key elements here are oranges and syrup. Despite the 7 years maturation, this is not a super sherry bomb, and it may just be that the original Kilchoman malt and peat character are reining that influence in, to create this delicious box-checker in. That term is not being used in a negative way either. The whisky has a collection of peat, spice, smoke, dark fruits, oranges, citrus, and cane sugar elements, making it a treat for all the senses, and offering a good balance of all those many aspects. A lot drop of water inevitably diluted these elements out and made it a softer and sweeter dram. As an experiment it would be great to taste each year’s releases next to one another to see how the longer maturations draw out those sherry influences (the 2018 release, for instance, containing some 10-11 year old olorsoso matured Kilchoman), but at this stage, the 7 and a bit years of maturation have brought out enough to make this one fruity tipple.

 

Sample disclosure: Sample courtesy of the Dram Team’s monthly subscription. It may only be 25ml of whisky, but man there are a lot of notes and experiences that came out of it.

 

M

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