For today’s daily Advent taoscán, we are diving into Hyde Whiskey‘s 6 year old 1916 No.3 ‘Aras Cask’.
This whiskey was reviewed as a part of the Drinks by the Dram advent calendar, throughout the Christmas season of 2018. If you weren’t following along during this journey through Irish whiskey then you would not be familiar with the fact that I had also previously reviewed the Hyde Whiskey, Sherry Finish No. 6 earlier in the review series. So if you haven’t caught my low down on all things Hyde, check out that article here.
Firstly, for any pure anglophones out there, I should explain that the word ‘Aras’ is the Irish word for a ‘residence’. Most commonly used when referring to the house of the President of Ireland, ‘Áras an Uachtaráin’.
This whiskey was released in commemoration of the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. The whiskey itself is a grain whiskey, which was matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks. Don’t get too excited though, this is a commemoration whiskey in name only. Neither, column distilled corn whiskey, nor bourbon barrels would have existed in Dublin in this time.
So throwing our nose into today’s whiskey what do we get?
Tasting Notes by Matt Healy, Chief Editor of Potstilled.com
Nose: Characteristic vanilla, wood charring, and nougat.
Palate: A pleasant opening, with a strong burnt sugar, creamy vanilla, honey, slight nuttiness. A tiny hint of astringency at the back, but this is disguised almost completely by the rest of the flavours in the palate, which is great.
Finish: Light finish with a light tongue prickle and soft nuttiness remain.
Overall: There are very few grain whiskeys on the market currently in Ireland. This is a nice whiskey with a good palate and enjoyable finish. The nose was a tad weak for me, although this can happen with some younger grains. Overall, I’d have no problem sitting back and sipping on a few glasses of these. It comes it a very reasonable €35-40 in the Republic of Ireland.
P.S. This whiskey does commemoration an incredibly important part of Irish history. The 1916 Blood Sacrifice turned out to be the turning point in public opinion that saw Irish citizens begin to revolt against the control of the crown. Although, the fighting wasn’t all confined to the GPO and Boland’s mills. Take a look at an article that I penned two years ago outlining the Irish whiskey industry’s involved, whether voluntary or not, in the 1916 Easter Rising. There are even some fantastic accounts of fighting that took place in the different distilleries in Dublin. This of course would have been a fantastic place to seize. The giant granite buildings gave the rebel forces fantastic defend-able positions and the stores inside gave the soldiers fantastic rations as well as flammable materials for incendiary weaponry. To read more about Ireland’s whiskey past during 1916, check out our article on the 1916 Easter Rising, here.