It’s tough when you’re starting a distillery. There’s a very, very high barrier to entry. We live in a time when the richest among us demand higher returns on investment, meaning if you have an idea and no money then you may as well not have an idea at all. Or you can keep that idea and just make no money from it as you pay back your investors.
Thus Tipperary interests me. A new Irish distillery is always a reason to be excited. Ireland, as I’ve mentioned before, got royally fucked in the whiskey world. Literally. For part of that it was the royals helping do it too.
Thus I’m excited. I’ve been a big fan of new distilleries in Ireland, and had an amazing time in Dublin finding out about new and old distilleries. Irish whiskey has such history and ability to grow and be interesting and unique.
Enter Tipperary 17 2002 Rum Cask, a single cask selection that was picked by Tipperary and then sold exclusively by Kensington Wine Market and Keg’n Cork.
So I’m excited for this. Because new picks, new Irish, and new is great because it means the potential for people doing well in the future. We got that. So why did I falter a bit?
Rum casks and me aren’t friends. I don’t send them Xmas cards, they downvote my reddit posts. It’s that simple. I’ve had very few rum cask whiskies that I’ve loved.
However a buddy of mine (and fellow Irish whiskey lover) asked me to split a bottle with him. I want to support a company that is trying something very difficult.
Let’s see which side won out, shall we?
Price: $165.00 CAD
Vintage: January 2002
Bottled: October 2019
Cask Type: Rum Cask
Cask Number: RC141
Number of bottles: 108
Colour: 7.5Y 9/4
Nose: Passionfruit, ginger, dry apple, cotton
Tropical, obvious funk from the rum cask. Lots of fruit notes, some floral/grassiness.
Doesn’t really taste like the age though. Initial note aside, it’s quite simple, even with water or time.
Taste: Cloves, Goldenrod, cinnamon, brown sugar, banana, dry apple
Wow, that’s a lot of cloves. Yes, there’s some sweet grassiness, some spice, some other autumnal notes and some banana bread.
When I was an idiot teen (before being an idiot young adult and after being a fairly dumb child) we distilled cloves to clove extract. I’m sure we were supposed to learn something, however when someone asked me to try drinking it, I learned that clove extract is not meant to be drank.
As I said: Idiot teen.
Suffice to say, if you told me that some clove extract is in here, I’d agree. Cloves live in this house, and everyone else just pays rent. It comes off as dry.
Finish: Cloves, vegetal, dusty, woody, mineral
There’s a ton more cloves.
Other than that it has some rough, simple flavours around the side. But it’s a clove’s house.
Conclusion: A clove heavy, rough, dry whiskey that you’re either going to love or hate. Nothing in between. Doesn’t taste it’s age and it’s unbalanced enough that I’m in the “hate” group… Wait, phrasing.
I debated not writing this review. Why? Because of the above. It’s tough to start a distillery. I don’t know anyone at Tipperary, I don’t know the background to them. Maybe they are billionaires having fun, maybe they are a group of underdogs. End of the day, it doesn’t matter. I review whiskey for fun. I speak my mind in a way that I’m trying not to be mean. If they don’t like it, they can pour this for more people and prove me wrong.
I’m looking forward to trying other whiskies from Tipperary. This one was an interesting release but didn’t wow me. I am biased, both pro and against, to a whiskey like this. The nose is nice, and the taste has potential. If it wasn’t a ton of cloves then I’d be a lot happier with it.
Maybe next time, and I look forward to the next Tipperary.
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