Price – 750 ml – $47.99 – (Heights Beer and Wine Emporium)
Method – 50 ml in a Glencairn – two fingers in a rocks glass
Rating – 85-100 – standard rating scale for wine and spirits
So I think like a lot of people, its the bottle that really makes this whiskey jump off the shelf. Once I got it home the biggest quandary became where to put it on my shelf. The wide base of this bad bourbon is quite a foot print of prime real estate, so I had to jostle around the collection a bit to get it to make sense. I have been hearing a lot of buzz about this particular bourbon, so I thought I’d give it a go during “WWTWW2k12” (Whiskey World Tour Whiskey Week 2012). Continue reading
Price – 750 ml – $43.99 – (www.shoppersvineyard.com)
Method – 50 ml in a Glencairn
Rating – 90-100 – standard rating scale for wine and spirits
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
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
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
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.
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
Price – 750 ml – $49.99 – (local)
Method – 2 ice cubes in two fingers
Rating – 94-100
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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