Posts Tagged With: Triple Tipple

Triple Tipple: Tullamore DEW

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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.

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

Triple Tipple: Kilchoman

Since setting this page up as hobbyists some years ago, we’ve set out to record our tasting notes and occasional opinion pieces that sit within the melee of whisky writings. Whenever writing up our tasting notes, we’ve tried to accurately describe what the smells, tastes and experiences have been like when enjoying these whiskies. What this generally involves is writing out a series of notes based on that experience alone, so that, like us, if someone wanted to try a whisky for the first time, they may see what its like, or, if already acquired, how their notes compare to ours. What we’ve sought to try out for a new set of features however is how those whiskies taste individually and then how they compare to similar whiskies within that distillery’s range – introducing: the triple tipple.

For this first run, we are looking at the three regular releases within Kilchoman’s core range, and you can click on each one for the individual notes:



Kilchoman – Triple Tipple

Oh these were nice, but how did they compare:




There’s no denying that these whiskies come from Islay. Kilchoman’s peat-dried malt carries the island’s signature fragrance throughout. The Machir Bay is the biggest exponent of this and has a strong peat soil and smoked nose to it, which I’ve grown to associate with the distillery, whereas the Loch Gorm peat (whilst coupled with the fruity flavours) was slightly more astringent. The Sanaig had much less of a pronounced and floral peaty nose, but still had a smoky element to it – much more like a dry, woody smoke. Clearly, the bourbon-heavy maturation of the Machir Bay, made for more of a pure, vanilla, sweetness, whilst the sherry-led maturation of Sanaig and the sherry-only maturation of Loch Gorm made for more of a fruity sweetness on top of their shared malt character. That drying character from the Sanaig however, won it for me, and made for the most characterful nose.



Well, once again, you can’t deny that peat is king here, but, assuming that these whiskies are all of a similar age, you can really appreciate the influence of the barrels. Machir Bay is clearly the most bourbon influenced due to its rich vanilla sweetness and creaminess. It doesn’t lose its original malt flavours amongst the barrels though, and that flavour is also easily detectable in the Sanaig, but whilst the vanilla is not entirely absent, the sherry influence on Sanaig means that there is a real fruity burst of flavours to that initial smoke and malt smack. This is also the case for the Loch Gorm, but any of that underpinning vanilla essence has gone entirely, in place of drying smoke and multiple exotic fruits.



All three drams share a similar vibe and finish, which features a final flourish of those initial smells and tastes, all tapered off to give way to the peat-fire influence of the original grains. Magical stuff. Its interesting to see how the barrel influence has slightly altered that smoky finish though, with the Sanaig having more of a toasty smoke, compared to the late summer bonfire or camp fire smoke of Machir Bay and Loch Gorm.




This has been an exercise in barrel influence on good peated distillate. Whilst I cannot be accurately sure about the age between the whiskies, the fact that the oldest component of these whiskies will be at most 10 years old, makes for a fairly level playing field. Given that Machir Bay was the first core range release by Kilchoman, then that little bit of sherry influence will have added some colour and depth to the whisky, which would make initial sales be confident, rather than seeing something really see-through. What I would be intrigued to try is a solely bourbon-matured Kilchoman distillate and see just how much stronger that vanilla impact would be. That said, there is not a bad whisky amongst these. In fact, they are great. All of them. If I had to put an order to these, I’d still pick the Machir Bay over the other two, and would put Sanaig just in front of Loch Gorm, but that might just be me being nostalgic about the Machir Bay and my first exciting sample from the new kids on the (Islay) block several years ago. Either way, each displays the benefits of barrel influence and the importance of a good source material. If I could have my way, I’d have a bottle of each in the whisky cabinet for further experimentation and delectation.



Categories: Kilchoman, Tasting Notes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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