In the movie Gangs of New York, there’s a specific gang known as the Dead Rabbits. Also, there were a bunch of knives, some good performances, and then by the end, I was confused.
Luckily I’m not here to review the movie, because it’s been a handful of years since I’ve watched it, and this all would be a weird place to put that.
Instead, I was at a special expo showing off what Ireland has to offer to tourists. Frankly, I loved Ireland the last time I visited and was someone who didn’t really need to be sold. However let me just say that if you’re considering going, it’s a beautiful place, I enjoyed it immensely and loved the food, whiskey, people, and every we did.
Speaking of my last trip to Ireland, when I was there I tried a new distillery’s offering by the name of The Liberties. The namesake of the distillery is where distilleries historically existed in Dublin, being outside the taxed area within the city walls, and surrounded by both customers and workers. Yes, the poor, who took the brunt of the great fire that happened there. No one died of the fire but rather died of drinking the spirit that poured through the streets. And the manure used to stop the fire.
The area is quite nice now, and one of my favourites walks. Dead Rabbit is a whiskey partnership by The Liberties and Dead Rabbit cocktail bar. The idea? One we’re seeing a bit more of these days. Ireland is tipping their hats to the Irish who moved to the United States.
In this case, previously whiskey that had been aged in ex-bourbon casks for five years and then finished in small virgin oak casks. So the Irish way, with American influences (Bourbon casks and then virgin oak casks, like those used in… you guessed it, American whiskey).
For those of you wondering, the other American way is to shoot your enemies in front of the barrels, preferably on a major holiday. Though that one isn’t done as much in alcohol anymore. Drugs, on the other hand, have picked it up.
So that’s what we’re drinking today. Dead Rabbit whiskey, not drugs. That’s a different review series from someone else.
Let’s see how the whiskey tastes, shall we?
Price: $49.50 CAD at the LCBO
Colour: 10 Y 9/8
Nose: Butterscotch, oak, grains
Lighter nose, though the butterscotch note is quite nice. Age shows a tad here, it’s a bit light, however, some of the virgin oak ageing time has given it a boost.
Taste: Carrot, ginger, caramel, hard candy
Here we go. Taste is where it wakes up. More candy forward notes, lots of sugar going on. Some spice, some earth to round it out so it’s not just sweets all the way down.
Less yeasty than other Irish whiskies. Actually, the carrot/ginger notes remind me more of bourbon than an Irish whiskey.
Finish: Coconut, apple, dry, white chocolate, ginger
Drier finish. Actually quite the surprise. The nose was youthful, the taste was interesting (though fairly constant on a sugar level), and then we end up with more to the finish.
What a nice surprise.
Conclusion: So I went into this as such: This is from a Bar in the US, sourced from a young distillery in Ireland, which had some nice (if hot and young) whiskies in my past. I wasn’t expecting anything to blow my mind. And if I’m being honest, it didn’t.
However, I certainly wasn’t annoyed at this. I found myself enjoying it neat, enjoying the finish more and more, and liking the sweeter taste. Now if you don’t like sweeter whiskies, it may not be your cup of tea. If you like a very well developed nose, again, not your thing.
That said, for all the “things that go against it” (lower abv., potential gimmick release, younger distillery), it proved me wrong. Or at least, it was nice to sip on. So try a dram when you get the chance.
World Whiskey review #359, Ireland review #105, Whiskey review #1712