Earlier this year the Dublin Liberties Distilleries unveiled a new innovation project that saw the distillery collaborating with some of Ireland’s leading craft breweries to create The Dubliner Whiskey Beer Cask Series. The first edition of this series saw the Dublin Liberties Distillery finish their Dubliner Irish Whiskey in beer casks that formerly held Rascals Coffee Stout, O’Hara’s Irish Stout and Five Lamps’ Red Ale.
This is the latest in a modern influx of creative beer cask finishes from Irish whiskey brands and in my opinion, this was a series of expressions that were executed incredibly well.
Beer cask finishes too often find themselves caught between trying to retain their recognisable flavour, whilst also trying to add something new, whereas, inherently beer cask finishes are things of pure experimentation that attempt to draw the best and most interesting aspects of both the beer and whiskey and mould them together beautifully.
This series of cask finishes offers the consumer something interesting, by being one of the first red ale finishes on the market and furthermore, the idea of presenting two stout finishes at the same time allows for a great deal of comparison between the expressions. Both stout finishes will have their own effect on the spirit itself and it is interesting to be able to compare and contrast the variances between these two cask finishes.
Potstilled.com Tasting Notes
5 Lamps – Red Ale Cask Finish
Nose: This is a packed nose, full of scents jumping out of the glass. On the top level we have toasted wood, a malty, caramel sweetness from the grain with hints of flesh citrus peel. This is followed by an underlying coconut, bitter chocolate, caramelised sugar and hints of red apple.
Palate: Roasted malt, rich and dry, with an initial hint of cocoa bitterness. This opens with a sweet grain and vanilla sweetness, which quickly makes way for dark roasted coffee, which fades to a dry and light red apple note.
Finish: Long, dry and lingering finish.
Rascals – Coffee Stout Finish
Nose: Initially on the nose this whiskey has a huge amount of toffee, lemon curd, creamy vanilla, green apple, with a juicy white peach influence underneath. This has a hugely fruity nose, with hints of nectarine, mango, and juicy, zesty lime.
Palate: The bright, juicy tropical fruits from the nose follow through to the palate. There is a great influence of nectarine and peach. The body is light with delicate tannins and grain tones underneath. An interesting palate with a perceived sweetness and a dry finish.
Finish: Long tingling, dry, toasted grain finish.
O’Hara’s – Stout
Nose: This nose is big and fruity, with a large roasted barley influence, with hints of raspberries, creamy milk chocolate, and orange peel.
Palate: This palate opens with a zesty citrus influence, with roasted biscuity malt coming to the fore. It is a dry palate with hints of cinnamon and caramelised sugar.
Finish: Long, tingling finish with a hint of cinnamon on the end.
These were incredibly interesting whiskeys to be able to enjoy. Each cask finish brings new influences to the Dubliner, in ways that the others do not. The O’Hara’s Stout has a very full nose, with a rich malt influence on the palate, while the 5 Lamps Red Ale Cask has probably the most unique nose and palate, which are filled with malty goodness, tied together with red apple and caramel notes. Finally, the Rascals Coffee Stout, stood out from the crowd for me personally.
This was my favourite whiskey of the series, with an incredibly fruity and juicy nose and palate that brought more malt depth than the other whiskeys, whilst also expertly layering these with an incredible amount of bright fruity notes.
This is one whiskey I will make sure that I keep on my shelves, definitely, and I look forward to seeing what tricks the Dublin Liberties Distillery pull out of the bag for the Beer Cask Finish Series 2.
The whiskeys were bottled at 40% ABV, with no word on chill filtration or caramel addition. They were launched in July and at the time of authoring this article, they are still available for purchase from the distillery as well as speciality retailers, as well as this these whiskeys are expected to hit shelves across France and Australia in the coming months.
The recommended retail price in Ireland is €36 each or all three for €90 in the distillery.