Order Online or Call Us

01793 765 071

My Basket
0
View

Whiskey for St Patrick’s Day

happy-st-patricks-day-graphic4

St Patrick’s Day is the ideal opportunity to reacquaint yourself with, or taste for the first time, Irish whiskey and with March 17th approaching, I thought now was a good time to look at what’s happening in the Irish whiskey world.

For many years whiskey production in Ireland was in the hands of just a few companies, with much of the whiskey being produced at the large Midleton distillery.  In recent years, however, there has been a surge of interest in both the drinking and production of Irish whiskey which is bringing new life to the distilling industry.  Traditionally known for their pot still whiskeys, that make use of triple distillation and a mix of malted and unmalted barley, Irish distillers also produce some great single malts and blends and various permutations of all three types are increasingly being used.

Tullamore Dew whiskey

Tullamore Dew whiskey

Tullamore D.E.W. is a good example of this.  Established in 1829, but then closed in 1954, it re-opened in 2014 as a new distillery on a greenfield site in Tullamore.  The whiskey currently being released has been distilled under licence at Midleton Distillery but once their own is sufficiently matured they will switch to this and they have already shown the breadth of expressions they intend to have in their range.  The light, toastyness of the Tullamore D.E.W. original and the creamy, chocolate, fruit and nut of the 12 year old Special Reserve show how varying the proportions of the triple distilled grain, pot still and malt whiskey used can influence these uniquely Irish blends, whilst their triple distilled single malts are spicy, fruity and complex delights.  Just in case you are wondering, the D.E.W. after Tullamore stands for Daniel E. Williams – who worked at the distillery for nearly 60 years and is credited with bringing about Tullamore D.E.W.’s distinctive character.

Teeling Revival II Irish Whiskey

Teeling Revival II Irish Whiskey

Renaissance and experimentation are exemplified in the new Teeling distillery in Dublin.  Set up by Jack and Stephen Teeling (whose father founded Cooleys in 1987) the idea is to bring ‘choice and breadth’ back to Irish whiskey in an innovative style whilst maintaining respect for the traditions of old.   The whiskeys currently being released are from stock owned under a supply agreement with Cooleys plus some family owned casks and these are double distilled whiskeys but the whiskey being produced at their new distillery includes traditional triple distilled pot still whiskey so this will contribute to the variety of whiskeys they can release.  Current expressions include a delicious small batch blend that has a high proportion of malt and is finished in rum casks.  There is also a single malt which aims to retain typical Irish smoothness whilst introducing as much flavour as possible, and this has been done by vatting together whiskeys finished in five different wine cask types.  Finally, they are producing limited edition whiskeys to mark various points in the development of the new distillery and the Revival Commemorative Series Volume II is a very interesting expression as it is a 13 year old whiskey which spent the first 12 years of its life in ex-bourbon casks and was then transferred to 250 litre ex-Calvados French apple brandy casks for the final 12 months.  This unique finish brings apple and pear flavours not found before in an Irish whiskey.

Redbreast 12 year old Irish whiskey

Redbreast 12 year old Irish whiskey

Pot still whiskeys with their rich and creamy taste and mouthfeel are still, unsurprisingly, very popular.  Although broadly similar each expression is influenced by the type of casks used for maturation.  For example, Yellow Spot uses a combination of bourbon, sherry and Malaga casks to produce flavours that include honey, spice, coffee, chocolate and red apples while Green Spot is matured in new and refill bourbon casks that result in clove, green apples and toasted oak flavours, and the fabulous full bodied, fruit cakey Redbreast 12 year old bears the clear influence of Oloroso sherry casks.

Irish blends distinctive smoothness and flavour makes them great for everyday drinking and means they continue to be in demand.  Slightly confusingly, as discussed above, in Ireland a blended whiskey can consist of potstill and grain, malt and grain, or potstill, malt and grain.  As well as the Tullamore D.E.W. and Teeling mentioned already others worth considering are the well priced Paddy and Kilbeggan, and for an extra special treat the Jameson Gold Reserve can’t be beaten.  Not forgetting also Black Bush from the Bushmills Distillery in Northern Ireland, which, with its high proportion of malt that has been matured in Oloroso sherry casks, is delightful.

Bushmills 21 year old Irish whiskey

Bushmills 21 year old Irish whiskey

Bushmills also produce single malts but with a typical Irish twist as they are triple distilled.  The 21 year old is probably the stand out whiskey of the range – aged for a minimum of 19 years in former Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon-seasoned casks the whiskey is then married together in Madeira casks for a further 2 years, resulting in a whiskey of great depth that has notes (among others) of tropical and dried fruit, spices, dark chocolate, and coffee and quite rightly deserves the rave reviews that it gets.

For many years, Bushmills was the only whiskey distillery to be found in Northern Ireland but, as in Southern Ireland, there are now several new distilleries either already in production or at the planning stage and with 32 new or proposed distilleries in Ireland as a whole there is lots to look forward to.  And whilst the various types may at times get a little confusing, one thing you can be sure of is that whichever Irish whiskey you choose you’ll find they are usually smooth yet complex and unique personalities who you’ll enjoy spending time with.   So if you’re after the perfect whiskey to drink, or to give as a gift, on St Patricks Day check out the full range of the Irish whiskeys we stock.

If you need any help with your choice then please do contact us.

We can deliver to anywhere in the UK and to many destinations overseas. See our Delivery page for details and rates.

If you would like to come and visit us in our shop in Highworth, Wiltshire we are open six days a week and we would be delighted to see you. Check out our opening hours

Comments are closed.

Designed by
Icons of Whisky 2011

Adding to Cart

Please wait while we update your cart...

Failed to Add to Cart

Successfully Added to Cart

Continue Shopping Continue to Checkout

Updating one moment please...

need help?

Need Help?

You can use this section to inform clients what to do if they do not know where to go on the website or if they cannot fine spefically what they are looking for. Sed eget justo quis justo pharetra sodales nec ac mauris. Nam elit sem, elementum sed mattis a, dignissim quis lacus. Nam ullamcorper posuere tortor vitae pretium. Vestibulum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed id tortor tellus, quis venenatis ante. Mauris semper tincidunt consectetur. Nunc eget ligula enim. Donec consequat nunc et eros aliquet tincidunt accumsan nisl fermentum. Pellentesque viverra mauris non mi sodales et lobortis enim rutrum. Phasellus ut neque sed tortor malesuada tincidunt at a metus. Cras accumsan dolor nec lacus rhoncus venenatis. Nam congue tristique mi vitae tempor. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Suspendisse enim enim, eleifend non porta quis, aliquam in urna.

Vivamus odio lorem, pretium eu condimentum sit amet, ullamcorper et odio. Cras rhoncus varius lorem sit amet adipiscing. Nam nec arcu et neque pretium euismod. In scelerisque venenatis imperdiet. Mauris et arcu nibh. Etiam congue tortor ut elit laoreet adipiscing. Integer a tellus urna, at placerat mauris. Etiam ornare lobortis enim, id dignissim arcu facilisis viverra. Integer quis metus faucibus orci mattis volutpat. Aliquam ultrices quam ac nisl iaculis et ultrices magna ullamcorper. Curabitur quis diam ac leo aliquet lobortis. Maecenas semper cursus ultricies.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed id tortor tellus, quis venenatis ante. Mauris semper tincidunt consectetur. Nunc eget ligula enim. Donec consequat nunc et eros aliquet tincidunt accumsan nisl fermentum. Pellentesque viverra mauris non mi sodales et lobortis enim rutrum. Phasellus ut neque sed tortor malesuada tincidunt at a metus. Cras accumsan dolor nec lacus rhoncus venenatis. Nam congue tristique mi vitae tempor. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Suspendisse enim enim, eleifend non porta quis, aliquam in urna.