Uisge Beatha Taigh is a brand created by Jurgen van de Wiele of Jurgen’s Whiskyhuis in Belgium. I’ve met the guy a couple of times, both as a guest on the Whiskyfair in Germany, or manning a stall at various whisky festivals.
I’ve come to know the guy as a man with great taste in whiskies with some good recommendations up his sleeve. He recommended me a sample of the best whisky I tried at the Hielander Whisky Festival (a 1982 Clynelish bottled by Silver Seal) and sold me a bottle of 1988 Macallan after talking about how shit the brand had become in recent years (also by Silver Seal…).
Anyway, he also bottles the occassional cask of whisky he sources (by Dewar Rattray). The first one was a 25 year old Ardbeg that was miles out of my league, financially. The second one I tried in Alkmaar in 2014, and comes from an Irish distillery that’s not named. I tried it, the next day I ordered a bottle. Especially since it’s also quite affordable for these highly popular whiskeys from the Emerald Isle.
Initially this doesn’t feel like a 60% ABV whiskey, but there is some build-up in alcohol based heat. It never reaches the expected level though. Chalky, dusty notes. Pineapple, mango and white pepper. Late the heat shows itself some more and there are some notes of oak.
The finish is slightly less sharp, and focuses more on warmth instead of heat. Also slightly less fruity, and more focus on barley. Oak and fruity notes.
I’ve had some better Irish whiskeys, but also a lot worse ones. As in, sometimes these whiskeys are chemically sweet and they can taste a bit of plastic winegum bags. This one doesn’t have that, but it also doesn’t taste solely of straw, barley and oak.
So, I generally love this dram, and I quite happily finished my bottle. A bottle of this was also bought by my father in law, so there’s quite a lot of love going around for it. Good stuff, and contrary to a lot of good bottlings, there’s still some of them available.
Uisge Beatha Taigh, 13 year old Irish Whiskey, 2001-2014, cask 9787, 60%, Jurgen’s Whiskyhuis. Available for 81 euros.