My wife was searching for an old Dublin snack that sadly isn’t around anymore, Monster Claws, the potato crisp you eat off your hands like some sort of monster, presumably.
We couldn’t find those, however we did find L. Mulligan Whiskey Shop. After going through their extensive (and fairly priced) whiskies, I noticed a whiskey by the name of Prizefight. I assumed it was American due to the boxing logo.
I was then corrected, noting it’s actually an Irish whiskey that has been aged for roughly 6 years in ex-rye casks. I asked if they had a sample, and was then directed up to The Palace Bar, which I had not yet walked into yet.
They luckily had Prizefight opened and ready to go, and I was happy to try it.
Fun when that turns out, right?
Prizefight is a collaboration between West Cork Distillers and Tamworth Distilling. Tamworth makes the rye, and sends the barrels to Ireland, where they are used to finish this whiskey. The name comes from the amount of Irish immigrants who entered boxing in America. And the image is of John Morrissey and Tankee Sullivan, who fought in New York over 37 rounds in an abandoned brickyard that was just outside police jurisdiction.
Man, America was rough back then. Glad we have laws against that kind of thing.
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Cask type: Finished in ex-rye barrels from Tamworth Distilling
Colour: 10Y 9/6
Nose: Cotton, cinnamon, lemon, yeast/bread, leather
Younger Irish whiskey. Reminds me of what we get shipped in Canada. That’s not a compliment, I might add.
If I compare this other West Cork whiskey, it’s showing it’s age. Though it does pick up on some cinnamon notes from (I assume) the rye, which is nice, and the leather note isn’t bad. However the bread forward isn’t doing it any favours.
Taste: Soft leather, ginger, mushroom, beef jus, lemon-lime soda
More leather, that’s good, and gone are the yeast forward notes. Lots of umami, beef, and some ginger.
It’s still a little young and has that sprite-y-ness to it. That’s a word right? Fuck it, it is now. That detracts from what should be like having a nice roast beef dinner (that’s meant as a good thing, unless you’re vegan then… well, I guess it’s not for you).
Finish: Cotton, cloves, cinnamon, yeast, pepper, sand, fruity
Soft finish. Have to say the rye comes out the most here. It’s covering a lot of the youth, gives more spices to really make it nice. The youth, as they typically do, still shines through sadly, and there are some rough edges similar to those before.
Conclusion: A young malt that I hope they keep tweaking. This needs more time in the ex-rye, and overall is a smart idea. I think it really helps the dram quite a bit, and can see why someone would recommend this.
That said, this is a young attempt, and the price point isn’t helping it’s cause any. If it were cheaper, I’d say grab a bottle. As it stands, try it for the interesting novelty, however they need to work on this to make it better and worth the price point.
World Whiskey review #245, Ireland review #63, Whiskey Network review #1065