The second three whiskies were number 3, 5 and 6 of the tasting. Rob decided that the first higher strength whisky was very good, but couldn’t stand up to Teeling’s flavour rampage. Anyway, it was a good call, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not good.
Tullamore DEW Phoenix, 55%
Not cask strength, but very high nonetheless. This whiskey was made to commemorate the hot air balloon accident that nearly destroyed the town of Tullamore in 1785. Some 44 years before the distillery was built. So, a nice story, but not something that has anything to do with this whiskey, if you ask me. If the town hadn’t been rebuilt, the whiskey would probably have been named Kilbeggan DEW. Oh. Wait.
On the nose it’s very light and dusty and even slightly ashy. Ashy without the smoky part that is. It does build in intensity with lots of alcohol and a weird sharpness. Very, very timid on the scents part.
The palate is very quiet for a 55% whiskey, but again shows quite some intensity. Gentle, slightly syrupy with ripe apple and pear. Some peach too and a touch of oak. The finish is sweet and long, with some honeyed sherry.
A nice whiskey, and it’d be lovely if it would have been more flavourful. All bits and pieces of this whiskey are lovely, but just too thin and with so much alcohol going on it can barely withstand its own heat. Strange…
I don’t think this one’s for sale anymore.
Writer’s Tears Cask Strength, 53%
Writer’s Tears. The regular one has been around for a while but I’ve never come around to tasting it. There’s that Irish whiskey blind spot again. I seem to remember it being promoted or at least mentioned by Hans Offringa at some point. Due to the writer reference I guess.
The normal one is a relatively cheap bottle of hooch and since I tasted a wee drop after the tasting it’s not bad. I still would save up the money for something a bit more impressive. I generally go for the not so gentle and timid whiskies since they entertain for longer, in my humble opinion.
On the nose it’s fresh and delicate, flowery even. There is some alcohol but it’s trumped by melon and pineapple scents. A very Lowlands like whiskey.
The palate has quite a punch and has that grassy, floral note again. Slightly spicy too with some chalk, peardrops and Napoleon lemon candy, the powdery one. The finish is long and has a lot of the peardrops and lemon candy going on again. Rock melon too.
This is an absolutely gorgeous dram. There’s enough flavour to cope with the alcohol and the light fruits are a nice encounted compared to the heaviness usually encountered in others.
What is a bit strange, however, is that this one feels more like a Rosebank, or Saint Magdalene. In short, a very good Lowlands whisky. From Scotland. In one way that’s a shame since it doesn’t show that Irish quality as much as it could. On the other hand, where do you get such a stunning whiskey for about € 90? Not from Scotland at least!
Highly recommended, € 95 at Whiskykoning
Redbreast 12, Cask Strength, 58.6%, 2013 edition
Who doesn’t love Redbreast? Apart from the ridiculously long commercials in WhiskyCast, they’re pretty epic. I’ve only tried their regular 12 extensively but according to the rest of the planet the 15 and 21 year olds are pretty kick-ass too. This one should be no exception.
They are also the one Irish whiskey brand that everybody has tried apart from Jameson. They are not my blind spot. I guess almost every liquor shop that has a decent booze selection has some of their range on the shelves. And rightly so.
On the nose this version of the Pot Still whiskey from Midleton is REALLY dry, with straw, barley and some green malt too. I get a weird scent of raw mushrooms too. Also custard powder and dry leaves.
The palate is really dry again with more vanilla than I expected. Strong, but with some fruit, some crispness. Lots of alcohol and spices. Rather nice though! The finish mellows quickly and goes towards the more regular flavours of Redbreast with custard. It also is rather metallic and minerally.
Again, a really nice dram. I usually love dry-ish whiskeys, and the ones that are more on the spicy side too, but how dry this one is is too much for me. You really need a glass of water next to this one to keep hydrated and not necessarily because of the alcohol percentage.
Although, it’s still nice. The flavours are all there and I like it when there’s something new to taste every now and then, and the mushrooms on the nose sure deliver that.
This one is around € 76
The overall winner of the evening was the Writer’s Tears, with the Teeling coming in close second. This was announced after the prices were given so I think that has something to do with it. Especially to the guy next to me who has to buy his wife shoes whenever he buys a bottle over € 100. Clocking in at € 95 is nice then.