So, it’s been a while since I reviewed an Irish whiskey, and when I did they were older single malts and not the blended whiskeys that make up the vast majority of the distillates of the Emerald Isle.
Sometime last year (around this time, actually) Tullamore D.E.W. released a cider cask finished whiskey which is, as far as I know, a first in the industry. (All we have to wait for now is a tequila cask finish, right?). It’s a travel retail release and came in at € 54 for a liter. Quite affordable, but also quite a bit more expensive than their regular range.
Normally, a liter of Tullamore D.E.W. comes in at about € 20 for a liter (at the discounters), so € 34 for a couple of months in a cider cask seems rather steep.
The cider is very, very clear on the nose. Almost like a cheap Calvados. So, lots of apple and it’s very crisp. Slightly yeasty too. Some malty notes but not too many. Somehow it tastes like there was quite some cider left in the cask, almost like it is a mix instead of just cask ‘reusage’.
The palate is smooth and crisp, with minor hints of oak, apple and a few creamy notes too. Pastry cream, with some malt and other grains. The cider influence unbalances it.
The finish is more or less the same as the palate. Not much development, if any. It tastes like a blended whiskey with a twist. Some grains, some apple and pear.
So, as just said. A blend with a twist. It’s quite unhinged and unbalanced. Like they just chucked a couple of liters of cider into a cask of their whiskey. Add the fact that the whiskey isn’t very old to begin with and the result you get is a young tasting mix of raw flavors.
The summary of this is:
There is no reason to drink this, except curiosity. That is now stifled and I’m not going to finish the sample. It’s not good at all.
Tullamore D.E.W. Cider cask finish, 40%. Released last year in Travel Retail at € 54 a pop.