I don’t say this lightly… You have never tasted a whiskey like the Currach Irish Whiskey. When I was first approached by Origin Spirits’ Export Sales Manager, Stephen Randles, to try this whiskey, he informed me that he had an incredibly unique whiskey for me to try. My mind instantly raced to think of what it could be, and I thought of about 100 cask and liquid permutations and none came close to what Stephen handed me in that glass.
Currach Irish Whiskey has taken the word ‘innovation’ to a whole other planet and the team at Origin Spirits have created something that none of us even thought would be possible. As a sister brand to the Kalak Single Malt Vodka and Ornabark Single Malt Gin, it had to have creativity at its core and it was bound to be head turning.
Following the same ethos of curating head turning products, the Currach Irish Whiskey is the first whiskey in the world to be finished in Seaweed Charred Casks… take a moment to read that again. Not barrels that have formerly held seaweed, but they actually charred their own casks with Atlantic seaweed. The team at Origin actually had kombu seaweed harvested from the coast of Co. Clare and then sent it for drying. Once sufficiently dried, they then used this dried kombu as the fuel for re-charring oak casks at their warehouses. The seaweed was placed into a barrel on its side, set alight and then the barrels rolled with the flaming seaweed to char and smoke the cask.
Once the charring proceedure was complete, the team them filled these umami laiden casks with their sourced single malt whiskey, and finished it for a period of no shorter than 3 months. This single malt was then disgorged and bottled at 46% ABV (92 proof), and this first batch will be available in multiple markets across the world, with 3,600 bottles being made available globally, with approximately 800 available in the Irish market, with a RRP of €60.
This whiskey is a big and wildly interesting flavour bomb, which will be incredibly unlike any whiskey you’ve had before. Upfront, the whiskey has a sweet bourbon sweet palate that is quickly followed by a salinity mixed with the smoked seaweed quality, which is paired with a malted barley biscuitiness, folowed by a dark chocolate, and a hint of bitter ground coffee. This continues to develop on your palate long after you have finished your first sip. If I was to find anything even remotely close, this would have some, not many, similar qualities to very vegetal peated whiskey from Scotland.
Official tasting notes:
Colour: Amber Gold
Nose: Toffee and raisins with hints of almond, backed by a roasted kombu aroma.
Palate: Arabic roast coffee fused with salted caramel and dark chocolate
notes complemented by nutty, earthy, lightly smoked and umami undertones.
Finish: Dark and rich flavours fade to leave a persistent and delicately sweet
As for the Currach name itself, this is the explaination from Origin Spirits:
“The currach is the traditional Irish boat made from wicker, animal skins and tar. It
is one of the oldest types of boat in the world, possibly going back to Neolithic
times. It played a significant role in the development of human civilization, from
the spread of farming to carrying early Christian saints all over Europe. It was
said to be the vessel used by Irish monks to discover the world and bring back
religious artefacts and foreign technology, such as the alembic, to Ireland. The
currach was used to transport whiskey across the Irish sea to Scotland (first
exports of Irish whiskey), and is still used today to harvest seaweed in Ireland.”