Blessings of Saint Patrick’s Day
Well, St. Patrick’s day is upon us again so I’m sure that when you raise a glass on Tuesday it will be from one of the many fine distilleries producing spirit from the Emerald Isle, whatever your tastes there is sure to be something that matches your tastes ….. the Saint Patrick’s Day we’d like to suggest that you introduce a friend to this wonderful spirit, raise a glass and toast to the continued growth of the Irish Whiskey industry.
Already into the 3rd month of 2015 and the tasting calendar is starting to take shape … in Dublin we’ve looked at the new whiskies from 2014 followed by a very entertaining evening with Noel Sweeny from Kilbeggan Distillery as part of our Meet the Distillers Series (see more info below). Our Cork branch has started the year with an evening with Grain Whiskey.
Later this month in Cork the plans are for an evening investigating the love affair between Sherry and Whiskey, this event takes place on the 25th March in the Porterhouse in Mardyke Complex in Cork. Spaces are going fast so book your spot here.
In Dublin on the 26th March we are going all peaty. Society President Peter White along with Martin Bolsinger are going to give an introduction to peated whiskies, both Irish and Scottish in a new venue, Wynn’s Hotel on Lower Abbey St. This will be a smaller tasting than some of our more recent tastings so spaces will fill up very soon. Head over to our booking site to reserve you spot as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Recap on Feburary Event - Meet the Distiller Nole Sweeney
We had a great turn out of some 70 members and guests to enjoy some very special whiskey from Cooley Distillery. A great many thanks are extended to them and of course to Noel personally.
First up was one they simply call “50”, and is 50% ABV. It is meant to be a good whiskey to mix. It is 50% malt and 50% grain so the taste holds well when mixed. It is a 4 year old matured in oak casks only. It offered a sweetness and robust flavour. It is not yet released to the market.
Next was a Potstill with cask strength of 60% ABV or a bit more. Also a 4 year old matured in oak casks, it has a good fragrance on the nose. With a bit of water added it produced a nice lingering taste. Mostly made of malt and barley, but with some oats to finish it. Not yet released to the market.
Third was a cask strength Rye, 61-62% ABV, and also 4 years old. This needs a bit of water and it then opens up for a nice long lasting flavour.
Fourth was a very special 21 year old Kilbeggan at 40% ABV. It is so good water is really not needed but won’t hurt it – taster’s choice. It is very smooth a sweet. Bits of Madeira, Sherry, Port and Bourbon barrels made this one really good. This is on the market but with very limited supply.
Next to last was another stand out – a 22 year old Connemara, also 40% ABV. Indeed this is “…not your average Connemara…”. Bits of Sherry have been added for sweetness to hold the peat flavour, which is usually lost at this age. Again, it had a very nice finish that lingered. This is also on the market.
And the big surprise was a “mystery whiskey” (not yet named) that was in a Tyrconnell style and 20 years old! You might even think this was nearly a wine with a very smooth and sweet taste. It is a single malt, finished for 8 years in port casks with an ABV of 57-58%. In short – this was terrific. Noel would not comment on plans to release it, fair play.
And the overall choice of best on the night was….the “mystery whiskey” by a big margin of victory.
Thanks again to Cooley and Noel!
Membership for 2015 is now available and we look forward to seeing you at tastings throughout the year. Join us on Twitter and Facebook, as well as our renowned Irish whiskey forum at forum.irishwhiskeysociety.com we look forward to hearing from you.
Slán go foill