From the day it was released this blend raised eyebrows for a number of reasons.
Firstly, this is one of the few Irish blends that prides itself on being just three years old. The back label of the European version upon release stated with pride of the youthful nature of the whiskey, to tie in with the brash nature of the band.
What made this most strange was the fact that the US release of the same Whiskey was touted as a Ten and Seven year old whiskey blend! It is unclear if there were two different whiskeys produced for two different markets under the same label or if there was a mis-communication with the local importer. Either way, made for some confused consumers.
The second notable thing about this blend that raised eyebrows was its claim to be one of the highest malt content blends on the market. This blend is a 50/50 blend of malt whiskey and grain, which is far higher than a normal blend but about 30% behind Blackbush, who hold the current record for highest malt content in a blend in Ireland. This was a unique take on a young blend and has seemed to help win over the hearts of many consumers.
So, as I mentioned, the whiskey itself is tied to the famous Irish folk band and produced by West Cork Distillers for Halewood International, who were previously shareholders in the distillery.
I believe that I am reviewing the 3 year old blend as my sample came from Drinks By the Dram in the UK. It is fully matured in ex-bourbon and bottled at 40% ABV with chill filtration.
Tasting Notes by Matt Healy, Chief Editor of Potstilled.com
Nose: the nose has the characteristic sharp spirituous nose that you would associate with such young whiskey, although, this clears quickly and reveals some creamy vanilla, a touch of maltiness, ginger and some wood spice.
Palate: the palate has a surprising maltiness to it, which is quite pleasant. Citrus tie with baking spices, a touch of cinnamon and is followed by a decent helping of vanilla.
Finish: medium finish with a slight lingering prickliness with a hint of citrus remaining.
Overall: Overall I was surprised by this one. This was far more palatable than I was expecting for just 3 years old. For a whiskey that prides itself in its youth and brash character, it was quite enjoyable.
Pleasantly surprised. This retails in the Republic of Ireland for approximately €35.