While it looks like I’m publishing the same whiskey twice, this is actually a different cask, with a different ABV. Also, this is not a sherry cask like the previous post. It is, however, the same bottler, the same age and same vintage.
My guess this came out in a batch, and was purchased in a batch too. Generally, this is great stuff, so trying sister casks is not a particularly bad thing!
Based on previous experiences I expect this whiskey to be rather good, but not entirely to my liking, since I’m not the biggest fan of the ‘plastic wine gum bags’ that I generally associate with Irish single malt of this era. Let’s check whether I’m right or not!
Very gentle and quite heavy on the barley. The sweetness is there, but it’s more like pear drops than the wine gum bags I expected. There’s also some roastiness on the nose, like grilled pineapple. Quite a lot of dried yellow fruit. Apples, pineapples, maybe some oranges too. A bit more timid than the sherry cask that I reviewed recently.
The palate is a bit more gentle, and not as dry as I expected. There’s a lot of barley to be found, with a bit of oak, but it’s not overdoing it. Grilled pineapple, dried apples, pear skins. Quite a fruity, and very bourbon-cask-driven, without having too much vanilla in it. There’s some, but it’s not like you’re having boozy custard.
The finish kicks the barley in overdrive, with much more dry notes, and more focus on the roastiness that I found on the nose.
Generally, I have a problem telling the preference between sherry and bourbon casks. As in, because for a review like this I only have one glass of whiskey of the reviewed liquid, I have to go by first impressions. On those first impressions, the sherry casks generally win over the bourbon casks. However, when you’re going through an entire bottle, I generally find the bourbon casks to have more longevity. As in, they stay interesting longer, there’s more to discover and there’s a tad more ‘uniqueness’.
I think in this case that is the situation too. The sherry casks makes for more impact, but when truly thinking about the liquid, I think I like the bourbon cask at least as much. And if I had a bottle, I think I would more gladly go back to the bourbon cask for a contemplative moment.
Irish Single Malt, 1991-2015, 23yo, 54.9%, The Nectar of the Daily Drams.