For the last two years old Irish whiskeys have been making name for themselves. They more or less came out of nowhere, and I think the first major release was done by Adelphi with their Limerick whiskey.
Since then all bottlers have jumped on the bandwagon with varying success. I think the high times for this have already come and gone since prices have soared over the last year, with 20+ year old releases coming in at some € 150 at first, but by now another hundred bucks have to be spent to get something comparable, and often younger.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you can try before you buy and if they’re really, really good. Unfortunately, after tasting through quite a few of them last year, I’m not overly convinced all that glitters is gold.
My favorite one is a release from Daily Dram from a sherry cask. I don’t have a bottle, but I did manage to get my hands on a sample of another sherry cask by The Whisky Agency, released in Taiwan.
Sweet at first, but turns herbaceous and spicy after a few seconds. Quite green with some sappy sweetness. Green malt and oak, quite distinct. A slight candy sweetness after a while again, but still with crushed leaves and moss. A bit of barley too, but not too much. Behind this it’s all quite typically Irish.
Rather sweet with some spices behind it again. A hint of chili spices and some dry oak. The greenness is gone and it focuses more on barley. A hint of vanilla, and some other spices too. Baking spices, but I’m not sure which.
The finish is pretty intense with some spices and herbs. Peppery, but also leaves of some kind. Dry oak leaves as well as herbs. Quite dry, with oak and vanilla. Quite long and dry, with barley and that typically Irish lightness and sweetness.
Good but not great. I’m not picking up on the sherry, at least not as much as I would like and overall it’s a bit on the chemically sweet side. I think that’s one of the biggest pitfalls of Irish whiskey, that they’re too sweet.
In this case it’s not bad either, since there are loads of nice and interesting flavors to discover, but all in all, it didn’t really convince me.
Irish Single Malt Whiskey, 1988-2015, 26yo, Sherry cask, 46.3%, The Whisky Agency for Taiwan.