Pearse Lyons Distillery in Dublin’s Liberties has just released one of Ireland’s first ever commercially available blended/vatted malts whiskeys in the history of our island. This Distillery Edition, “Marriage of Malt”, is available exclusively from the distillery in Dublin 8 and is limited to just 888 bottles and is designed to showcase the late Dr. Lyons’ spirit of curiosity as well as the distillery’s penchant for innovation. So apart from an ecclesiastical pun, what exactly is the Pearse Lyons’ “Marriage of Malt”?
This blended malt whiskey is an incredibly interesting project, which saw the Pearse Lyons Distillery team vat three different single malt whiskeys together, from two different distilleries, to create a fantastically unique whiskey with a new level of complexity that perhaps could not have been achieved with straight cask finishing alone.
The Marriage of Malt blended malt consists of malt whiskeys sourced from both the Pearse Lyons Distillery itself and another distillery from Co. Louth. The Marriage of Malt is a Non-Age Statement (NAS) whiskey with a combination of three different malt whiskeys aged for between 6 – 15 years, released at 44% ABV (88 Proof).
The blend itself consists of the following three malt whiskeys:
65% – 6 Year Old Pearse Lyons Distilled Malt, which was distilled in their original Carlow location. Which was aged in ex-Town Branch Bourbon barrels & finished for 1 year in PX Hogsheads.
27% – Sourced 13 Year Old Bourbon matured Malt that was re-casked in 2014 into ex Town Branch Bourbon barrels.
8% – Sourced 15 Year Old Bourbon matured Malt that was re-casked in 2014 into ex-Town Branch Bourbon barrels, that was then re-casked into a PX Hogshead for a 9 Month finish.
The whiskeys are vatted and bottled at 44% ABV, without chill-filtration or any additional E150a colourings.
Pears Lyons’ Global Spirits Ambassador, Conor Ryan, explained to me why the distillery decided to release a blended malt whiskey instead of a single malt, since the majority of the blend is from their distillery. “The Pearse Lyons’ Distillery sees blended malts as a large part of the future of Irish Whiskey and while we are one of the first brands to explore this historically unexplored category, we know that we won’t be the last.” Conor explains how “the distillery doesn’t see blending their own spirit with another distillery’s malt as taking away from the brand but in-fact adding to it. At the moment, heavy cask finishes are all the rage and we opted to utilise this style to show that there are other ways to evolve as a producer, and too innovate within the Irish whiskey category. Blending our whiskeys with those from another distillery allows us to offer consumers new, incredibly differentiated products that are spirit forward and not overpowered by finishing casks.
Conor attested to the fact that this release being one of Ireland’s first blended malts would have been an innovation that the late Dr. Pearse Lyons would have relished. In-fact, he was the first person to implement a pot still only production facility on the Kentucky bourbon trail and this enabled Dr. Lyons to release the US’ first single malt whiskey in almost 100 years. So, he was no man to shy away from forging his own path and neither are the team at the distillery.
Pearse Lyons Distillery, official tasting notes:
Some whiskeys benefit from a drop of water to open them up and reveal their full potential, this whiskey benefits form allowing it to breath and open up to reveal its spectrum of flavour.
Rich malt, zingy citrus with a crisp minerality, lemon biscuit, fleshy fruit, fresh shaved wood, dry spice, vanilla, sweet apricot, caramelised pear, candied fruit.
Rich, silky, maltiness, crisp fresh citrus, candied fruit, rich round toasted oak, vanilla custard, light pepperiness, warming clove spice, butterscotch, figs, candied apple, dates, stewed fruit.
It has a long lingering rich sweetness and spice to the finish.
This is the first of what is billed to be an annual release from the distillery, of whiskeys that will be made exclusively available at the distillery. The new releases are set to be unveiled to the public on the distillery’s anniversary, every year.
The bottle retails in the distillery store, exclusively, for a recommended retail price of €79.