The “Water of Life” by Suzi Redmond
There’s a revolution happening!
Really? Yes with Whiskey, its popping up everywhere, in our tv shows (Mad Men, Suits, Masters of Sex) our pubs and festival’s. Ok it has always been around but it seems to have gathered a lot of momentum in the last few years.
Ireland has really seen a surge of love and appreciation for it, with 32 distilleries having been built, in planning or in some stage of creation. Will they all go ahead, probably not but it is exciting to see a country that was the go to for quality whiskey explode with passion again.
You only have to have watched the Teelings journey on TV3 recently to see this. We now have a festival being held just for whiskey (Whiskeyfest in October – Great Irish beverages). The Irish whiskey society being set up to spread the word and love for all whiskey but especially for Irish whiskey and this passion has seen many books being written on the topic, add that to all the pubs creating a whiskey lists longer than wine lists in some restaurants (Dingle Whiskey Bar, Dick Macs, An Pucan).
It was the Irish Whiskey Society that not only helped me understand and appreciate whiskey but to really love it. Check out these recent releases and see if it sparks some interest for you.
Redbreast Mano a Lamh €65
This whiskey has a lovely sherried nose full of dried fruits, earthy tones, spice such as ginger & pepper. The light toasted notes bring out the figs & with the addition of wild flowers ok weeds i.e. dandelions. This whiskey has a truly irresistible nose.
It is such a smooth whiskey, with characteristics of sweet tobacco, caramel, dark forest fruits and a lovely nuttiness running throughout. The hint of ferns gives it an added dimension to really cause a stir of your senses.
For price & quality you are on to a winner.
In my notebook I simply put ‘amazing’ as my conclusion….
There is a limited quantity – just 2,000 bottles – and it’s only available to from the Stillhouse.
Midleton Dair Ghaelach €260
This is whiskey has been aged in specially selected oak from Kilkenny
Dair Ghaleach means Irish oak. This is whiskey has been matured in specially selected virgin oak from Ballaghtobin Estate in Co. Kilkenny
This nose is incredible. Crisp autumn leaves, toffee, honeycomb, coffee & chocolate. This whiskey has such an expressive nose it almost goes on forever so much so you almost, I say almost forget to sip.
This whiskey wraps itself around your palate; the heat is inviting but not intrusive. The virgin oak does impart some beautiful flavours of sweet spice, chocolate, pineapple & white pepper. Like the nose this whiskey goes on and on. I think my tweet from the launch says it all.
“Wow, a hug in a glass. A sublime glass caramel, dark chocolate & spice. An autumnal glass of cask strength” On the evening we got to taste tree no.4 & no.7 my preference was 4 but it is just a preference.
Available Nationwide and Online
Green Spot Château Léoville Barton €69.95
Aged in 2010 Cabernet sauvignon Casks
On the nose this pot still whiskey sings beautifully. With apricots mingling among the wild strawberries & ripe autumnal fruits. It leads you on to some earthy notes to floral & spicy touches with a hint of vanilla. It has quite a seductive nose.
On the palate you get this delicious hit of honeyed fruits but with the fresh floral & berry notes it tastes full but not heavy. The vanilla & spicy tones join in to give it another dimension. Add some bramble & barley and you have one elegant whiskey that will captivate you from the first sip. It does soften out a bit with the water, for me I love it neat.
A super star whiskey. Hurry there are only 1,000 bottles for Ireland.
Available Nationwide and Online.
Suzi is passionate about wine, beer and whiskey too, not forgetting a love of food and travel. She has been a part of this industry for a little over 10 years. She has worked on level 4 in WSET during this time and regularly hosts tastings and staff training in these sectors. She has recently started a blog on all wine, beer and spirit related beverages. You can follow her blog at suzisgrapecrush or follow Suzi on Twitter