Dingle whiskeys are some of the most sought after whiskeys on the market right now. Although, due to their incredible commercial value, very few are being opened for actual consumption. This is why I sat down with Head Distiller, Michael Walsh, to taste through some of the past and present releases of Dingle Whiskey to highlight some of the actual flavours you will find in Dingle Whiskey.
I would wager that there isn’t an Irish whiskey enthusiast that hasn’t heard of Dingle Distillery yet. Whether it’s crossed your radar for being the first new distillery to release its own distillate as whiskey or simply due to the frenzy that surrounds any bottle that appears online, Dingle Distillery is a hard one to miss.
Obviously, any new distillery project breaking the status quo of whiskey sources was going to be a big deal, although, I don’t think that many or even any foresaw the frenzy that would surround releases from the most Westerly distillery in Europe.
In-fact, I would go as far to say that Dingle Whiskey is probably not only the most sought after currently but also most likely the least consumed. Bottles are trading hands at the rate of knots, stores are selling out instantly, other stores aren’t even getting allocations and I don’t think any bottles before the current Batch 3 Single Malts have ever been intentionally exported by Dingle themselves.
So, with a whiskey that has everybody talking and scrambling for a bottle, why hasn’t anyone tried any? Basically, because everybody is scrambling for one. If you are a lucky enough soul to have been able to purchase a bottle, even at the recommended retail price of circa €65 a bottle, there is a steep financial dis-incentive to opening that bottle. The fever that surrounds Dingle Whiskey means that there is a strong possibility that you would be able to achieve a re-sale value of several hundred percent more than you paid. As such, I have met quite a number of whiskey enthusiasts with Dingle stashed away, although, I’ve only met one or two who’ve actually tasted it.
So, I was delighted when I received the invitation to join Dingle Whiskey Distillery’s Head Distiller, Michael Walsh, to not only explore the improvements to the distillery but to also explore the range with him.
So, on this warm but wet morning in Dingle, we sat down to have a taoscán of both the Batch 3 Single Malt as well as the Batch 1 Single Pot Still to explore the flavour profiles and talk about the whiskeys current place in the market, as well as its future. You will be able to join us for those conversations and musings, on Episode 4 of Potstilled Radio.
As a follow up to this conversation, I also sat down with my, opened, bottle of Batch 1 Single Malt to compare my tasting notes and see how the malt has progressed over time and across batches.
Batch 1 Single Malt: Bourbon Matured. 46.5% ABV
Nose: A medley of aromas clambering for attention on the nose. Sweet, young spirit astringency. Sour green apples, white grape, honey, extremely oily and buttery, slightly herbal with a minerality and a hint of cinnamon.
Palate: young very lively spirit opening, oiliness follows through, mineral salinity, white grape again, light apple, honey and cinnamon.
Finish: crisp light bodied finish.
Batch 3 Single Malt: Bourbon and Port Barrel Matured. 46.5% ABV
Nose: Sweet, creamy nougat, walnut, light floral hints of rose water, light green apple. Nose does not have any astringency.
Palate: Sweet malt forwardness, peppery mouthfeel, salted toffee, sweet apples, hint of plumb, and light citrus.
Finish: light but lingering, sweet apple, and crisp citrus remain with light wood prickle.
Batch 1 Single Pot Still: Pedro Ximenez Matured. 46.5% ABV
Nose: Creamy nougat follows through once more (perhaps some underlying Dingle DNA), spry dry grain follows behind, almonds, creamy currants, citrus pith, vanilla biscuit-iness from the grain and some light treacle in the back.
Palate: light spry spice, creamy nougat and deep red berries follow through with a healthy nuttiness and wood prickle at the back.
Finish: many of the lighter flavours fade quickly, spry spice and vanilla remain for a medium finish.
By far the Single Pot Still captivated my attention the most. The malts had a great potential to them, they had none of the burgeoning off notes that could rear their ugly head in new distillate whiskeys. The Batch 1 Malt, is a young spirituous expression, although even the short time longer that Batch 3 has spent in barrels has done absolute wonders to curb any firey spirituous and the spirit is on track to become a great spirit down the line. One flavour that I was delighted to find between the malt and the potstill was the creamy nougat, the light creamy honey tones that were evident in Batch 1 have solidified with a number of the additional esters from the addition of some European barrels, which aid in the nuttiness that I am deriving from the nougat descrition. I would be happy to see some similar nougat DNA from Dingle in the future releases.
One thing that I am happy to say is that these whiskeys have great potential and furthermore they are not being marketed as perfect, finished articles, yet they deliver an interesting imbibing experience…. depending on what price you paid for it of course!
I look forward to seeing where their liquid profile progresses to, under the watchful eye of Michael Walsh. Furthermore, I am greatly anticipating the impending release of their Single Pot Still Batch 2 which looks like it will be released this side of Christmas, hopefully some bottles will make it all the way to the consumer market before they are all snapped up.
If you are interested in what Head Distillery, Michael Walsh, had to say about all things Dingle when we sat down with him for this tasting, make sure you check out Potstilled Radio, Episode 4 upon its release this week.