This past year (2018) I had lots and lots of plans. Finish my accounting schooling, find a new job in a new career space, revive Michael Jackson’s corpse into a bard-lich, and review enough Irish Whiskey to finally hit 100 total reviews.
I’m happy to say I got most of that done, and Winter is Coming. As for posting the reviews, I may have gotten behind what with learning derivatives and gathering the ancient black obsidians filled with necrotic energies that no one human should possess. So I’m posting them now! Yay!
In the world of Irish whiskies, you run into a bit of a snag. Independent bottlings are growing, however, they can be quite pricey, go quite quickly.
Why is that? Well, imagine for a second that alcohol is pretty ubiquitous. Now imagine, of the three major options of what people drink (wine, beer, spirits), spirits are at the bottom. Then imagine, of that “small” group, you were part of a niche group who not only prefers one of said spirits, but the higher end versions of said spirits, and then imagine there’s a niche in there based on what used-to-be the biggest whiskey out there.
If you aren’t squinting, then you have super vision. But we’re also in a time when Irish Whiskey is on the rise. Thus that niche is getting bigger.
Up first we have Irish Single Malt 13 No.1 Batch 2, sourced from an undisclosed distillery. There’s some who say that it should be Cooley or Bushmills, given the age. Also, it’s adorned with a lovely horse, a joke from Father Ted, a very funny show with a creator I don’t agree with ever.
So we don’t know anything beyond it being a single malt. How’s it taste, then?
Price: $77.36 USD on Master of Malt
Total Release: 2,200 bottles
Colour: 7.5Y 8/4
Nose: Grapefruit cheesecake (tons of this note), gravel, fresh cut wood, caramel
Have I ever had a grapefruit cheesecake? No, of course not. But wow does this smell of those two notes so much that I guess it exists now and we all have to.
Very unbalanced to that one note. If you love the smell of grapefruit and cream cheese, then have I got a dram for you. Not just for breakfast anymore!
Taste: Cumin, grapefruit, white chocolate, lime, brown sugar, cloves
Earthy, then tart, creamy, and acidic. Sweet throughout, with some spice popping up either as heat or as earth.
So weird. Yeah, I think that combination counts as weird to people on earth.
Finish: Cardamon, cream, lime zest, char, brown sugar
And more cream, acid, some char. Very unique. Don’t know if the finish has anything to stand on though. Missing that main stepping point.
Conclusion: Really unique. Really acidic, very tart all the way, and really different than other Irish whiskeys I’ve had. Heck, it’s different than other whiskeys I’ve had in general.
If you’re looking for an acid-forward dram with an acid-induced cover (see what I did there? I’m clever) than they’ve bottled a dram for you.
That all said, it’s on very shaky ground. All of the flavours seem like side characters with no main idea beyond “citrus” being at the core.
Irish Single Malt 14 No. 2 Batch 1 is up next, and continues on the same idea. Irish single malt from an undisclosed distillery. This time we see major players in the field on the label.
But you’re not here for the label. Probably. I mean, some of you are, but most of you are here for the whiskey. How does it taste?
Price: $76.07 USD on Master of Malt
Total Release: 357 bottles
Colour: 7.5YR 5/8
Nose: Chestnut, raspberry, grain, pineapple, brown sugar, cloves
Initially rutty and fruity. Some grain, some tropical aspects, and brown sugar to round it out. Similar to the first one, though a lot less acid (though it’s still there).
More to enjoy here than the one above, nice complexity here.
Taste: Hazelnut cream, peach, lime, caramel, plum
Very nut milk forward. No, I don’t know where the tits are on the nuts, otherwise, they’d be in my mouth.
Fruity, some caramel, richer fruit notes as time goes on.
Finish: Macadamia, grass, lime, herbal, brown sugar
Nutty, yet again. That seems to be the constant. Good balance of acid, herbal, and the sweets as well
Conclusion: Very nutty, better balance, overall works out nicely. Has some interesting flavours going on. This one leans towards more of an Irish whiskey versus the first, with those grassy/herbal notes popping up, and the overall nuttiness hitting you in the face (with its sidekick, brown sugar).
Note to self: Never ever make a superhero sidekick called brown sugar, you’ll be called a racist.
Now that we’ve ensured it’s not the 70s anymore and I’m not writing bad comics, back to the whiskey. If you like a nut-forward whiskey, then this is right up that alley. You know, the alley where the sailors go.
The acid is well balanced, it’s not too heavy, and it was nice to have. A good dram, overall.
World Whiskey review #354-355, Ireland review #100-101, Whiskey review #1682-1683