April 4th (4/4) saw the launch of the long awaited 4th release from Kerry distillery, Dingle. It's due to hit shelves off off-licenses and pubs from Monday.
This release, estimated at 30,000 bottles, will come as welcome news to whiskey drinkers in the US, Europe and Australia who have, since Dingle launched their whiskey in 2015, have struggled to get their hands on a bottle.
12,000 bottles will remain in Ireland, with the remaining 18,000 making their way around the globe. As for the cask strength, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, the release is limited to just 500 bottles. The vast majority of are for the home market only, with a few making their way across the Irish Sea to the UK.
I was lucky enough to attend the launch of Batch 4 yesterday and am very pleased at how they whiskey has come together. It's a marriage of spirits aged separately in 4 cask types - Basil Hayden bourbon, Pedro Ximenez, Oloroso and Port. Once matured, the four liquids are combined to produce the final product. For me, it's a balanced, well rounded single malt that challenges the palate, offering something new with each mouthful. This release has far more "going on" than previous iterations and has a lovely chew to it.
As to be expected with American oak casks, I was first greeted with a mild creamy vanilla sweetness. Beyond this, there's a delicious sultana or dark berry. Another mouthful had me getting my head around a buttery nuttiness, with some citrus lurking.
The cask strength version takes the flavour profile up a notch. There's less vanilla, more dark berry and tannins. Obviously, there's temptation to add a few drops of water to open it up, but I was enjoying my pour too much to take any risks.
Dingle Distillery are definitely on to something. If you're partial to a gin, you'll be interested to know that they recently won "World's Best Gin" at the World Gin Awards 2019 - 400 gins were blind tasted, Dingle came out on top!
All the ingredients are there for Dingle to continue to thrive in the spirit market. These guys know their distillate, they've established relationships with some incredible suppliers - ensuring a constant supply of barrels and casks, their packaging is premium, most importantly, their whiskey is damn good. It's important to remember that they're working with young liquid. As time goes on, this will continue to improve.
Michael Walsh, head distiller (pictured below), announced last night that he's to leave Dingle Distillery in the coming months. From myself, and everyone at the Irish Whiskey Society, I'd like to thank Michael for his contribution to Irish whiskey and wish him all the best. Michael, you played an important role in the resurrection of our national spirit - I hope you look back on this 6 and a half years with pride.
Dingle Batch 4 Single Malt is on sale from 8th April - RRP €70.
Dingle Batch 4 Cask Strength is on sale from 8th April - RRP €125.
Will you be picking up a bottle?