Glen Grant 10 – A review

gg10

Roommate brought this home from the duty free in Switzerland. Not usually a dram I would have jumped out for but cant say no to a friend offering a dram!

  • Colour: Straw Yellow
  • Nose: Candyhop sweetness, hints of toffee and stewed apples.
  • Palate: Light open, tofee sweetness, subdued spice, malt and pears
  • Finish: Long dry finish, fruity with subdued spice and slightest hint of nut.
  • Score: 80/100

This was a nice dram to have amongst friends. I had heard that the purifiers in the stills that Glen Grant use made light fruity whisky and thats no lie. I was pleasantly surprised with the length of the finish compared to how light it was on the palate. Not something I am going to rush out and buy anytime soon but was a tastey enough dram definitely with lots of fruit.

Aberlour 10 – A Review

Very approachable, entry level dram. On special in the pub this weekend for the Ireland vs Scotland game. Couldn’t say no to a glass or two at knockdown prices! Aberlour-10-year-old-Malt

  • Colour: Rich gold.
  • Nose: Sweetness upfront, fruit, toffee and nuts.
  • Palate: Full bodied. Spice up front, caramel, sherry sweetness & thick malty taste.
  • Finish: Medium finish. Spice lasts. Oily with lingering honey sweetness.
  • Score: 82/100.

I was pretty impressed with this entry level dram. Not for its complexity but for its full range of flavours it offered. Very enjoyable. Would buy again. Feel the finish let it down a bit so would have scored higher in my books but still enjoyable experience

Paddy Whiskey’s bizarre map of Ireland – The history

paddyMany of us a very familiar with Paddy Whiskey. An affordable and tasty blend from Irish Distillers that lends it’s name from its legendary salesman from Co. Cork Paddy Flaherty. Supposedly very generous with tasting samples but sold buckets of the stuff and ultimately was honoured with his name on the bottle and IDL certainly earned a good story!

One thing that has never sat right with me in all my years of selling Paddy in bars either at home or abroad was the fact that the four provinces of Ireland are clearly outlined in the wrong colours. It’s a question I’ve asked many a whiskey enthusiast and many a IDL employee and I’ve come up short every time.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Irish provincial colours: Leinster are green, Munster red, Connacht are blue/white and Ulster are yellow/orange. (Don’t be fooled by the provincial rugby teams that seemed to randomly pick their colours themselves) Paddy’s current bottling proudly displays a yellow Leinster, a blue Munster, a red Connacht and a green Ulster. All provincial colours in all the wrong provinces! So I started to do some digging and see what I could uncover about the interesting choice in colour scheme. With my own digging and ultimately the help of Carol Quinn the archivist in Midleton House down in the old distillery we came up with the following:
The original colours in the 1860’s were: 
Leinster – Orange,
Munster – Brown,

Connacht – White

Ulster – Green.

In the 1880’s:

For a short time Connacht became a red polka dot on a white background.

The label featured several minor changes in the next twenty years.

Finally in 1900:

The label became what it is today!

Under this time the brand was owned by Cork Distillers. It seems that the provincial colours may have been coincidentally used on this relabelling after the 1800’s, I personally feel that this oversight would have at least occurred to somebody then. Surely having the provinces the right colour would be a further feather in its “genuine” Irish whiskey hat but whatever the finial reasoning the label has stayed in its skewed state for the last 115 years (a hell of long time for a label to remain essentially unchanged!).

So it seems that, right now, there is no definitive answer as to whether or not the colours are initially skewed just to annoy finicky whiskey drinkers like me or if it was a genuine mistake!

I still think that this inconclusive research is still worthy of seeing the light of day, even negative answers are still answers! Hopefully this will help anyone who’s like me and has an interest into this kinda thing! Plus It’s been a trivia fact that I’ve liked bringing up with customers and it’s always a good talking point! More knowledge = more tips 😉

If any of ye enthusiasts out there have any more info of ideas I’d love to hear it!

TL;DR: Paddy Whiskey’s label is wrong and nobody knows why.

World’s Best Pot Still – Redbreast 15 Review

redbreast-15-900x900

So with the announcement of Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskey Awards I thought I would put up my review of the World’s best pot still Redbreast 15 year old.

Now as I’m sure you’ve gathered from my previous posts and the title of this blog I am a huge pot still fan and I am absolutely delighted that Redbreast 15 took the crown at this year’s awards!

Colour: Golden yellow with a slight hint of red.

Nose: Warm, spice fruit cake, caramel, toffee saltiness, assortment of fruit and honey sweetness.

Palate: large open, full bodied, strong spice, honey sweetness, salty & oily body and slight hints of toasted oak.

Finish: Long finish. Saltiness remained, beautiful toasted oak.

Score: 95/100.

Definitely a step up from it’s younger brother, to be honest I wouldn’t have even said they were related if I hadn’t seen the packaging. That said I haven’t tried the 12 CS strength yet, which I hear gives this expression a run for its money. All in all, this is by far my favourite pot still whiskey out there and I haven’t a doubt in my mind why it won best pot still. It was originally released as a once off edition but was made a full time expression in IDL’s brilliant pot still range. I personally am appreciative of the special hand selections that the small run 12 CS, 15 and 21 get to ensure that they are the best the current casks have to offer.

I would put this in the top two best whiskeys I’ve tasted to this point in my existence, maybe that’ll change some day but for now I’m ensuring I’m never left without a bottle of 15.

TL;DR: Redbreast 15 is dram good!

Why it’s time to buy Irish Whiskey!

half us - half eu

Whiskey fans in the US, it’s time to buy Irish Whiskey.

With the recently announced Quantitative Easing plan announced my Mario Dragi in the European Central Bank €60 billion euro in assets are going to be purchased by the ECB and National Central Banks, each month until September 2016.
A big side effect of QE is with all this virtual money printing going on in the EU the Euro is steadily devaluing against foreign currencies. If we look at the US$ versus the Euro we’re almost seeing parity for (almost) the first time since Bush junior took power!

Enough with the Economics I suppose! 
What does this mean for us whiskey enthusiasts out there?

In Europe (I am referring to the Euro Zone as Europe for the remainder of this article) it means that we’re gonna start buying a lot of home grown whiskeys (not always a bad thing but I miss good dram of Pappy).
In the US its time to buy European whiskeys! Irish of course being the best on offer…. but I could just be biased!

**I’m actively excluding the UK from this article since their higher exchange rate has made it a good time to buy anything European for a while and with such close political and trade ties their exchange rate isn’t as effected as somewhere like the United States.
With the strength of the Euro depleting the consumers of the US are going to get more bang for their buck with European products! Whiskey fans in the states should be noticing a difference both in store and online. If not right now in store, very soon. This should only become more noticeable as we slip into parity. Now I can’t speak for the sneaky shop keepers who might keep the prices up (shakes fist) but its always worth an ask with your local and see what its like states side! I’d love to know what ye find!

Irish whiskey has a lot to offer so if you are stateside Irish whiskey has a lot to offer and places like the Celtic whiskey shop are happy to ship to our US whiskey fans!

With the current boom in Irish whiskey I can only see this QE as a fantastic catalyst for growth for the entire industry. With it in its infancy this new found affordability could be the first rung on the ladder to Irish whiskey reclaiming it’s place on the top of the whiskey world! We can hope I suppose! A the very least this should allow distillers in Ireland drastically grow the piece of mind and share of market in a country that is looking for quality and affordability in it’s whiskey!
I know many whiskey fans from the states who can’t wait for the price drops to reach their watering holes and are already picking up hard to find european whiskeys online and getting them shipped! Yes it still works out cheaper on the whole! Might be worth checking out!

So enjoy and keep an eye on those ever changing exchange rates cause while they’re low now there’s definitely wiggle room for the Euro to fall further and those of you in Dollar land can rake in the savings us Euro heads have been reaping for years!

TL;DR: Euro is weak, time to buy European whiskey.

The Honeycomb Sour – An all Irish Cocktail

For the weekend that’s in it I thought I’d post my favourite self created all Irish cocktail! So even your drink can be Irish for a day! Whiskey sours are by far my favourite cocktail. So I’m always making them up at home. But I like trying to personalise my cocktails to my tastes. I came across Muldoon Irish Liqueur at Whiskey Live in Dublin last year and I instantly fell in love. Delicious doesn’t do justice to how good it tastes. So an idea sparked: Honeycomb Sour. I dabble between bourbons and Irish whiskey for sours, both offer so much. But for this Sour it’s Irish all the way. Jameson Black barrel. A good compromise I think. Although regular Jameson definitely still gets you to where you need to be. Ingredients:  (I was trained in Canada so ALL my measurements are in ounces, Europeans don’t hate) 1/2oz Simple Syrup 2 drops Angostura Bitters 2oz Whiskey 1/2oz of lemon juice OR half a lemon squeezed. 1/2oz Muldoon 1oz Egg whites (if you haven’t tried before try. Fo’realz) Shake VIGOROUSLY over ice. Strain over fresh ice or just dump contents into glass. Result: A smooth and delicious honeycomb flavoured whiskey sour. All Irish (i swear I saw lemons growing in Ireland once…..) all delicious. The sweetness from the Muldoon complements the Black barrel beautifully. This is a really fun twist on the absolutely beautiful classic. Note: 1/2oz Muldoon will deliver a lovely light honeycomb taste but like all cocktails make to taste. Rack up the muldoon for a big honey explosion! Why not? Try it out and lemme know what you think! =D sours And here is a lovely artsy shot of whiskey sours that I stole because the files of my ones corrupted big times! Shout out to reclaimingprovincial.com for that!