Tag Archives: irish whiskey

Greenore – Single Grain – 8 years old – Single Grain – 90/100


Price – 750 ml – $43.99 – (www.shoppersvineyard.com)

Method – 50 ml in a Glencairn

Rating – 90-100 – standard rating scale for wine and spirits

Review –

Before we get into the review of this really great whiskey, I’d like to take a small side route.  As of yesterday, when I posted the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked review, I realized that I am 1 week from the 6-month milestone for WWT, so I figured I’d celebrate it with Whiskey Week.  One whiskey per day, for 7 days.  Sounds like fun, so lets get down to brass tacks here.

This is one of the whiskeys that I bought for St. Paddy’s day, and never got around to reviewing, and I’ll also say that the 15 year version of this whiskey was the choice of G-Lo from the Booze Dancing crew, so this ones for you G-Lo!  It also ended up being one of my favorite Irish bottles in my burgeoning collection in the end. Continue reading


WWT celebrates Word Whiskey Day with a toast and a dram!


Thanks to our friends over at Angel’s Envy (click here to go to their facebook and like them), I read that today, March 27th, 2012, is the first ever World Whiskey Day.  Since it bears a resemblance to this very blog title, and since it IS whiskey oriented, I thought I should write up a little piece about our favorite caramel colored liquid and its day in the sun (or in the dark cabinet since the sun will prematurely age the fine liquid).

When I started poking around the net to get some info about the genesis of a day dedicated to our favorite libation, I came across a story on http://www.scotsman.com , that lay the story pretty bare.  A college student by the name of Blair Bowman went looking for World Whiskey Day after learning of World Gin Day which was a huge hit in Spain.  Upon finding out that there wasn’t one, he quickly bought up the virtual real estate associated with the day, and set about starting a whiskey empire with his own personal holiday as his flagship.  Click here to read the article from Scotsman.com (which is a fine piece of writing if I do say so myself).   I will do my very best to post a review or two this evening.  St. Patrick’s Day saw me sick and unable to imbibe, so I have a few bottles left without review.

Overall, I found myself as surprised as Mr. Bowman when learning that there wasn’t a whiskey holiday, even if St. Patrick’s day (rather insensitively some would say – I not being among them) is an unofficial one, but if this does even half as well as Bowman hopes it to do, then we should have a really exciting addition to our drinking schedules.  Either way, I look forward to seeing how this whole thing pans out.

But until then… Happy World Whiskey Day from Whiskey World Tour!

Slainte,

Chuck

 

p.s.  Special thanks to our friends over at http://boozedancing.wordpress.com for the repost and the kind words.   Great members of the community and knowledgeable folks all around.  I learn something every time I read an article.  (check em out)

 

 

 


St Paddy’s Day is Coming!


 

So being the half-Irish mongrel that I am, I tend to get giddy when St. Paddy’s comes around.  I feel like my beard gets a little more red in it than usual, and my skin a little more pale.  Also, this will be WWT’s first St. Paddy’s so I figured I might as well do something a little bit special for the Irish Wine lovers in all of us.  I’ve decided to take a poll that will determine the next bottle of whiskey I buy, and if I get some votes I will buy the most voted for and have one hell of an evening.  I’m only going to list bottles that I dont currently own, and they will range in price, but feel free to vote for whichever whiskey makes your Irish tingle.  Enjoy!

Slainte,

Chuck

p.s. If you dont see one you’d like to suggest, write it in the comment section and I’ll see what I can do.

 


Midleton – Very Rare Irish Whiskey 2011 – 98/100


Price – 750 ml – $135.99 reg $113.99 Sale – (www.shoppersvineyard.com)

Method – 2 ice cubes – 3 fingers of alcohol in 8 oz. rocks glass

Rating – 98-100 – standard rating scale for wine and spirits

Review –

 

First off let me say that I owe this bottle of glory to my lovely girlfriend who bought it for me as a Christmas present.  It was a great present and not just because it was expensive.Also, this was the winner in my poll to see what the readers (however few you may be 😉 ) wanted to get a review of next.I’ll start as I usually do with the packaging.  The blond, wood-grain box that the bottle comes in is well made and is a great match to the fresh color and taste of this whiskey.  It comes with a personal registration card that you can send back to the distillery to let them know who purchased each numbered bottle.   It’s a corked bottle that has the same color cork stopper as the wood of the box and a beautiful gold and parchment label that really dresses up this traditional Irish whiskey bottle rather nicely.On the nose, you get something that not a lot of Irish whiskeys will give you, honey.  But its not the cloying honey that plagues some bourbons, its the fresh-light honey scent that really brightens up both the nose and the taste.  The spice that you would expect from a Midleton whiskey is there, reminiscent of the Redbreast (click to read my review of Redbreast 12), but it is much more mellow and has a very clean feel on the nose. Continue reading

So what’s next?


I have far too many choices at this point and I have no idea what to review next, and thats just in the bottles I own.  So I figured I’d see what you wanted an opinion on.  Maybe I have something you haven’t tried and would like a heads up on or about.  Anyway vote in the poll and I’ll review something this saturday night.

So enjoy, and I’d love to read the feedback so please vote if you have an opinion.

Sláinte,

Chuck


My first 1000


 

Milestones are all about reminding yourself about the journey it’s taken to get to a certain point.  My first 1000 views have been a blast, getting to know new people, learning new things, and drinking new whiskeys all along the way.  Here’s to my next 1000, and for those of you who read and comment, thank you for acknowledging me, even if it is only by spending the time to look at the words I string together on the page.

Sláinte,

Chuck


International Toasts – Ireland


So I figured it would be a cool experiment to look in on the whiskey producing/drinking cultures of the world, and look through their respective toasts and post them here.  Being Irish (and Italian) I thought I would post the Irish toasts first.  Some are in Irish Gaelic and some are in English, and they are suprisingly heart-warming and poetic.  Enjoy. Continue reading


“Irish Whiskey” VS “Scotch Whisky”


There are four distinct styles of whiskey or whisky in the world (the “e” is used in the United States and Ireland, whereas Canadian and Scotch take their whisky without the “e”) each with its own particular characteristics. While all are produced in a broadly similar way, there are substantial differences between different countries’ products including the choice of grains, number of distillations, type of stills used, maturation period and type of oak barrels used. Each country’s style has its own special characteristics to discover and savour.

Irish and Scotch are often compared to each other just as American and Canadian have broadly similar characteristics.

No Smoking

Unlike Scotch, the malted barley in Irish whiskey is dried in enclosed kilns, not over peat fires, and therefore lacks the ‘peaty smokiness’ of Scotch whiskies. This maintains the natural flavour of the barley as one of the defining characteristics of Irish whiskey, which are typically fragrant, with a roundness of body.

Ingredients

A second important differentiating factor is the Irish use of unmalted barley in the pot still as well as malted barley. (The Scots use only malted barley at this stage.) The main flavour of Irish whiskey comes from barley, and the differences between the brands lie in the proportions of raw and malted barley. Three styles of whiskey – pot still, grain and malt whiskey – make up blended Irish whiskey. The flavourful pot still whiskey is blended with both lighter grain whiskey and more flavoursome malt whiskey to produce the final, well-balanced blend.

Triple Distilling

Tullamore Dew is distilled three times to greater purity and smoothness
Three times for purity, once more than Scotch. Tullamore Dew, like most Irish whiskies, is distilled three times to give greater purity and smoothness. Each extra passing of the spirit through the still improves its quality, purity and strength – with the result that Irish whiskey leaves the still with higher alcohol content than Scotch.

‘Vatting’ not ‘Blending’

The character of Irish whiskey is more closely connected to the distilling process than to the subsequent blending. The skill, they say, lies in creating the right distillates in the first place. As a result, the Irish call this latter technique ‘vatting’ rather than ‘blending’. By contrast, blended Scotch whisky is achieved by mixing many different mature malt and grain whiskies together, balancing the final flavour by adjusting the relative proportions of each.

Source: http://www.tullamoredew-usa.com/irish-whiskey/irish-scotch.asp


Whiskey History (Irish and Scotch)


Whiskey Production

Irish Whiskey, the most romantic of spirits with its amber, jewel-like tone and storied past, is made from ingredients so ordinary as to cause wonder that they can be transformed into such a glorious.  The Irish were the original distillers of whiskey: earliest records date back to the 6th Century. Later, the skill was taken across the Irish Sea to Scotland – hence the broad similarities between the two nations’ products. The monks, who were the healers of their day, used spirit as a base for medicines, rubs and liniments. Why wouldn’t they? Here was a substance as clear as water; that burned like fire and literally preserved flesh. It was nothing less than the legendary ‘Uisce Beatha‘ or Water of Life in English, eventually anglicised to give us Whiskey.beverage. But when grain, yeast and water are brought through the wonders of distillation and oak aging, a truly delightful spirit results. The devil is in the detail and modern whiskey making in Ireland is equal parts science and art.

16th century records show uisce beatha being produced for consumption, but the art was still the preserve of the religious orders. It was not until the disillusion of the monasteries in the Tudor period that whiskey ceased to be the drink of the elite. In fact Queen Elizabeth I was known to be fond of the beverage – and she wasn’t alone. No less a person than Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, mentioned that “of all the wines, the Irish spirit is the best”. Continue reading


Redbreast – 12 Years Old – 94-100


Price – 750 ml – $49.99 – (local)

Method – 2 ice cubes in two fingers

Rating – 94-100 

Review –

In the interest of full disclosure I should say that I have had my bottle of Redbreast for a few months now and the glass I wrote my review from was the last glass in the bottle.  The entire bottle was well worth the slightly higher price tag that I paid for it and I would suggest it readily to anyone who asked for a good Irish whiskey.

The drink experience is much better after allowing the alcohol to open with either a spoonful of water or a few ice cubes and I would definitely suggest drinking almost any Irish with at least a little bit of water.  As most Pot Still whiskeys (which most iconic Irish is – read more about pot still Irish whiskey and its origins here) it has a lot of spice which mellows with the water and air.  Redbreast has a bold spice note on the drink but has little heat until well after the swallow.  The finish has heavy amounts of spice followed by a mouth-filling warmth if you let it settle for about 20-25 seconds.  The finish is very long and gets warmer and more full the longer you let it set.

One suggestion when drinking is to let the whiskey sit in your mouth for 10+ seconds before swallowing.  It mellows the spice and really allows the complexity to take over.  There is very little heat to the whiskey so holding it for a few seconds shouldn’t be a problem.

A tip I read for drinking new whiskeys, which has almost always led me to good things, is to let the whiskey swirl in your mouth for the 1 second per year of aging.  So for Redbreast, 12 years = 12 seconds.  The extra time on the palate pays dividends in the flavor department.  Also, if it is a whiskey that is over 90 proof, drinking is straight is fine, but if you don’t add at least a little bit of water, the alcohol content is going to shock your taste buds and not really allow you to taste the whiskey.  Two things that will make any whiskey experience better.

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