Redbreast Dream Cask 20 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Edition

To celebrate World Whiskey Day 2019, the folks at Irish Distillers, and Redbreast Whiskey have launched Midleton Distillery’s first ever Pedro Ximénez cask finished whiskey.

The Redbreast Dream Cask PX Edition is a 20 year old, single cask, Single Pot Still Irish whiskey that was created by Master Blender, Billy Leighton, in collaboration with blender, Dave McCabe. Continue reading “Redbreast Dream Cask 20 Year Old Pedro Ximénez Edition”

Potstilled’s Whiskey of the Year 2018

Potstilled.com has been a fantastic outlet for my musings in relation to the Irish whiskey industry over the last four years (it was our website’s birthday this week *woo*), it has given me opportunities to travel the length and breadth of the country, seeking out some of the best whiskeys that are created on this beautiful island of ours. Now, with March, the busiest period of the year for the whiskey industry, well and truly behind us for another year, I thought I would take a moment and reflect on some of the absolutely amazing whiskeys that I had the good fortune to try in 2018. Continue reading “Potstilled’s Whiskey of the Year 2018”

The Top Awards Show of the Year – The Irish Whiskey Awards 2018

In the world of distilled spirits there are thousands of award shows that you can enter. Each harping greater accolades and greater audiences in attempts to collect your entrance fees for themselves. Everyday there seems to be another gold star from an awards circuit that you’ve never heard of adorning a bottle of whiskey that you’ve never seen before. While they may seem silly and somewhat pointless, consumers do buy with their eyes and these gold awards help may brands stand out on the shelves. These sticker add ons, give consumers confidence that what they are buying is quality. After-all, distilled spirits producers are asking consumers to part with a decent chunk of hard-earned cash, long before they ever get to taste the product, so these awards can be very helpful. So are there awards that are worth their weight in gold?  Continue reading “The Top Awards Show of the Year – The Irish Whiskey Awards 2018”

Guest Blog: Tasmanian Distilleries

When you think of the whisk(e)y producing regions of the world, Australia wouldn’t be at the top of everybody’s’ list. That said, Australia’s whisky producers are doing their best to change that. In particular, quality distilleries are popping up all over the island of Tasmania. The island has a rich history with distilling that was unfortunately hampered by a prohibition that lasted over 150 years. Since its repeal in the 1990’s many new Tasmanian distilleries have been making a name for themselves on the world stage. Probably most notably, Sullivan’s Cove has hauled in more awards for its whisky than most distillers could dream about. Furthermore, the demand for their highly awarded “French Oak” has seen the retail prices per bottle hit highs of $350AUD.

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Myself and Casey and Kevin from Old Hobart Distillery

My own personal experience with Tasmanian whisky was not Sullivan’s Cove but in fact a beautiful cask strength sherry cask whisky, from the guys at the Old Hobart Distillery. The name of the distillery might not ring many bells but their whisky “Overeem” is certainly known in whisky communities around the world. Their whisky is of very good quality, produced in small batches and at cask strength. Casey Overeem (owner) has dedicated the company to making quality whisky with no additives or impurities. I recently even got to meet the guys from Old Hobart on their tour around Scotland and Ireland’s distilleries.

 

Although, Sullivan’s Cove and Overeem aren’t the only names in Tasmanian whisky to keep an eye out for.
Recently, family friends/roving whisk(e)y reporters David and Michele Fay checked out some of what the other distilleries around Tasmania had to offer. Thankfully for me (who has never set foot in Australia) they got to check out some of the behind the scenes action in the distilleries and sample some of the highly sought after nectar before reporting it all back to us here at Potstilled!

Nant: “Tasmanian highland whisky located in Bothwell. The distillery is on the site of an old flour mill. The owner found an old medicine bottle on the site and this formed the design for the bottles that are used. The mill is claimed to be the oldest in Australia.
They double distill the whisky which is styled on the Scottish method of distilling whisky; indeed they have a Scottish Master Distiller. None of the whiskies are peated. They distill the whisky in half casks for 5-6 years.”
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“We had the prividge of trying three of their whiskies, (from their classic collection), Bourbon Wood Single Cask, French cask Pinot Noir and the Sherry Wood Single Cask.”
Bourbon cask (43%):
Visually a lovely crisp golden colour. On the nose it had a slight vanilla and honey smell. The flavours coming through on the palate were honey and vanilla with a dark fruity finish and soft sugars. Very smooth and palatable. 
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David and Michele Fay
French Oak Pinot Noir cask (43%):
Visually a darker caramel colour to the whisky. On the nose was a toffee / caramel sweetness which followed through on the palate. Honey and vanilla undertones with a clean crisp finish. 
{Nant is the only whisky distillery of the 9 in Tasmania to use French Oak Pinot Noir casks.}
Sherry cask (63%):
The darkest of the 3 sampled visually. A nutty sweet smell coming through on the nose. Chocolate undertones come through on the palate with a heat to the finish. The delicate flavour of sherry follows through. 
The Bourbon cask was actually award a 95.5/100 in Jim Murray’s whisky bible. Placing it in the top 50 whiskies in the world at the time.
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Lark: “This is the oldest whisky distillery in Tasmania. (As previously mentioned) Up to 1992 there was a ban on whisky production in Tasmania. Bill Lark who founded this distillery got the laws changed and started the first whisky distillery in the state for over 150 years. His daughter Kirsty is one of the youngest female distillers in the world. They have their own peat bogs next to the distillery which is located in Cambridge, Tasmania. They also use a barley that has an oily finish.”
They also tried three of the whiskies produced by Lark: Classic Cask, Classic Strength and the limited edition Rum Cask.
Classic cask (43%):  This is their flagship whisky aged in port barrels. A clean looking whisky with a floral slightly peaty nose. Certainly not overbearing on the peat. There is a floral, sweet palate with a slight peaty taste following through on the finish. Bill refers to this as the “breakfast” whisky as it is such an easy drink. 
Cask strength (58%): This is also finished in a port cask. Michele found a burning sensation on the nostrils. There is a strong smell of vanilla woodiness. On the palate a harshness is experienced with the cask strength and definitely an oiliness comes through. There are vanilla tones with rich malts and a light earthy peatiness. This is considered a long complex whisky.
Rum cask. (65%): This had a vanilla nose with a peaty finish. To the palate were citrus and orange peel notes, slight vanilla undertones and a peaty after taste,although not overbearing. Michele preferred to “open” this one up with some water that made it more palatable for her. 

I think you’ll agree that the whiskies sampled by David and Michele sound fantastic and I would be over the moon to have the access to the places that these two somehow got into. Sadly for me and many other whisky enthusiasts in the world outside of Australia, we don’t get to see these bottles all too often! Furthermore, the bottles run in the hundreds so the average entry line! So a little out of my price range but hopefully will get to taste more of what Tasmania has to offer one of these days!

Very special thanks for David and Michele for documenting their visits around the Tasmanian distilleries and for agreeing to my first ever guest bloggers!
Sláinte.

Irish Whiskey Awards 2015

Last night, October 15th, saw the Teeling distillery open its doors after hours to host this year’s Irish Whiskey Awards.

The Irish Whiskey Awards are organised by the Celtic Whiskey Shop’s Ally Alpine. Members of the Celtic Whiskey Shop’s Celtic Club and members of the Irish Whiskey Society are invited to judge each year’s awards.

The whiskey awards are by far one of the most anticipated events of the year, only overshadowed by whiskey live perhaps. Industry professionals and whiskey geeks alike, come together to celebrate the best parts of the booming Irish whiskey industry.

Companies can submit their entries for free and all profits of the event go to local charity Mary’s Meals.

It’s not just whiskey that makes an appearance at the awards though!
Poitins, gins, vodkas, liqueurs and even barrel aged beers were submitted this year for judging!

Judging consists of a blind tasting. Each of the whiskeys and spirits that have been submitted for the current year’s awards are tasted by members both in Ireland and up to 40 members are available to register from abroad.
Each entry is marked out of 100 points and all of the voting is completely anonymous.

This is a very transparent and logical voting process. The winners are what the public deem to to be the best of the best. The judges have varying degrees of whiskey knowledge, from complete novices to master distillers. The results reflect the true quality of the whiskey before them!

This year there were a lot of familiar faces at this year’s awards. Big brand names and famous bars throughout Ireland all in attendance. 2015 was witness to several triumphant returns to the top spots! Redbreast 21 year old picked up Irish Whiskey of the Year for a second year running and Garavan’s bar Galway retained the Connaught Irish Whiskey Bar of the year!  Although there was a whole heap of new entrants in nearly all of the categories, including my favourite Irish whiskey bar in North America The Shebeen/Irish Heather in Vancouver BC, which took home a gold medal for best international bar.

Before we get to this year’s winners and runners up, if you too want to try a whole host of the whiskeys and spirits that hauled in the gold at these awards make sure to check out Whiskey Live in Dublin Castle on the 24th of October. Not to be missed for any Ireland based whiskey fans!
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Results for the Irish Whiskey Awards
Irish Whiskey of the Year (Overall winner)
Redbreast 21 Year-Old

Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey
Trophy Winner – Redbreast 21 Year Old
Gold Medal – Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy
Gold Medal – Powers Signature Release

Irish Single Malt Whiskey (12 Years & Younger)
Trophy Winner – Connemara Single Malt
Gold Medal – Teeling Single Malt
Gold Medal – Tullamore Dew 10 Year Old Single Malt

Irish Single Malt Whiskey (13 Years & Older)
Trophy Winner – Knappogue Castle Vintage 2000 Batch 2 Mongeard Mugneret Burgundy Cask
Gold Medal – The Palace Bar Three Generations Batch 14 Year-Old
Gold Medal – Glendalough 13 Year Old Single Malt

Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of less than €60)
Trophy Winner – Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old
Gold Medal – Writers Tears Copper Pot
Gold Medal – Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel

Irish Blended Whiskey (RRP of €60 or more)
Trophy Winner – Midleton Very Rare 2015
Gold Medal –Jameson Gold Reserve
Gold Medal – Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve

Irish Single Cask Whiskey
Trophy Winner – An Púcán Teeling Whiskey Single Malt
Gold Medal – Celtic Cask Trí Déag
Gold Medal – Celtic Cask Dó Dhéag

Irish Cask Strength Whiskey
Trophy Winner – Tullamore Dew Phoenix
Gold Medal – Midleton Dair Ghaelach
Gold Medal – Redbreast 12 Year Old Cask Strength

Irish Single Grain Whiskey
Trophy Winner – Kilbeggan Single Grain
Gold Medal – Glendalough Single Grain
Gold Medal – Teeling Single Grain

Irish Poitín
Trophy Winner – Teeling Poitín
Gold Medal – Bán Poitín

Irish Liqueur
Trophy Winner – Mrs Doyle’s Irish Cream
Gold Medal – Coole Swan
Gold Medal – The Wild Geese Irish Honey Liqueur

Irish Gin
Trophy Winner – Thin Gin
Gold Medal – Blackwater No 5
Gold Medal – Dingle Gin

Irish Vodka
Trophy Winner – Dingle Vodka
Gold Medal – Untamed Irish Vodka
Gold Medal – St Patrick’s Distillery Vodka

Irish Whiskey Barrel Aged Irish Craft Beer
Trophy Winner – O’Hara’s Barrel Aged Series
Gold Medal – Independent Whiskey Stout
Gold Medal – Franciscan Well Jameson Stout

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Overall Winner)
Dick Mack’s, Dingle

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Leinster)
Trophy Winner – The Dingle Whiskey Bar, Dublin
Gold Medal – The Whiskey Palace, Dublin
Gold Medal – L Mulligan Grocer, Dublin

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Munster)
Trophy Winner – Dick Mack’s, Dingle
Gold Medal -The Shelbourne Bar, Cork
Gold Medal –The Folkhouse, Kinsale

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Connaught)
Trophy Winner – Garavan’s Bar, Galway
Gold Medal –An Púcán, Galway
Gold Medal – Tigh Neachtain’s, Galway

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (Ulster)
Trophy Winner – The Duke of York, Belfast
Gold Medal – Bittles Bar, Belfast
Gold Medal – McCuaig’s bar, Rathlin Island

Irish Whiskey Bar of the Year (International)
Trophy Winner – Whisky and Alement, Melbourne, Australia
Gold Medal – The Shebeen/Irish Heather – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Gold Medal – Scholars Lounge, Rome

What’s on Weekly

Competition of the week!


Kicking things off is my favourite competition for the week! This has to be from Boann Distillery (in conjunction with Thetaste.ie) who have launched their new Boann Cask Society. New distillery on the block, Boann, are offering you the chance to win a ten year membership of the cask collection.
The Boann Cask Collection offers members 10 exclusive bottlings over the period of 10 years. As a member, the winner will own exclusive bottlings from the Boann Distillery’s choice casks, each handpicked by the Master Distiller. Members will receive 10 bottles of whiskey over a 10 year period. Each of these bottles will carry a unique limited edition label, building a covetable collection of Boann’s special whiskeys. This sounds super cool and I’m very interested to see what they produce! To enter click here!

Monday 12th

Galway – An Pucan 

Powers’ Three Swallow is the whiskey of the month in An Pucan in Galway for 10% off for the entire month of October! Only €5.85 per glass!

Cork – Folkhouse Kinsalecocktail
A special on our “Folkhouse Jameson Black Barrel, Basil & Rosemary Whiskey Sour” for just €7.00.

This Folkhouse Cocktail was the 2015 Winner of Best Jameson Black Barrel Cocktail in the Barrelman’s Bar Battle
Ireland and it was cocktail that the Folkhouse Represented Ireland with in the World Competition last June. Literally one of the best cocktails in Ireland!

Tuesday 13th

Dublin – Dingle Whiskey Bar Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 12.14.57
The weekly whiskey tasting class with Dublin’s own Whiskey Genius Fionnan O’Connor is back again this Tuesday. Only €18 to explore the world of whiskey with this tutored tasting. This week’s class is “Whiskey and the Woodwork: American Oak”. Explore everything Quercus Alba with this in-depth look at American white oak.


Dublin – Dublin Cocktail Festival
Tuesday also sees the launch of the Dublin cocktail festival with Kalak Vodka Martini Masterclass and Shortcross Gin Sensory Story.


Wednesday 14th

Dublin – Vintage Cocktail Club

Wednesday sees the first of the whiskey themed events from the cocktail festival! Bushmills Masterclass at 2pm
One of their few masterclasses that are held outside of the distillery. This is a free but ticketed event. Very worth checking out.

Dublin – Gin Palace

Glendalough take their turn after Bushmills to offer their distillery tasting at 4pm in the Gin Palace on Dublin’s Middle Abbey Street. Tickets only €11.20.

Dublin – Teeling Distillery
Teeling conclude the evening’s activities with a cocktail class with their cocktail masterclass in the distillery with global brand ambassador Kevin Hurley. Doors 6.30pm, Tickets can be found here.


Thursday 15th 

Dublin – Teeling Distillery

The Irish Whiskey Awards take place this Thursday in the Teeling Distillery. A host of venues, brands and companies are bidding for the gold in their respective categories for this event. Unfortunately tickets are long sold out but keep an eye on my Twitter account for updates throughout the night.

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Dublin – South William Bar

Jameson infusion workshop with Oisin Davis, founder of the Sugar Club Dublin, for an in-depth look at creating wonderful Jameson cocktails and creations. Doors 3pm, tickets €5.98 available here.

Dublin – The Liquor Rooms

Why the f*ck is everybody talking about poitín? This is being run by a company that I’ve only just come across, Ban Poitin. I could find nothing about them online other than they are selling Poitin for cocktails in both Ireland and the UK. Who knows could be the diamond in the rough of the whole event! Tickets are €5.98 and available here.

Dublin – Meeting House

Tullamore DEW presents: Where is my whiskey? A look into the history of whiskey, its rise to fame, fall from glory and paired with some tasty Tullamore DEW treats. Presented by Tullamore DEW whiz Kevin Piggot, this will be one great event! Tickets are€11.20 (incl fees) available here, doors at 8pm.

Friday 16th

Dublin – Irish Whiskey Museum

Fancy chatting about Irish whiskey? Fancy an Irish Coffee overlooking the front gates of Trinity College? Irish whiskey museum has you sorted! With late opening times all through the week, Irish whiskey museum is one of the latest opening whiskey attractions in the city this weekend so check it out! Super knowledgable and one of my personal favourite hangout spots in the city! Check out their website here.


Saturday 17th

Dublin – Old Jameson Distillery
Looking for something different to do this weekend? Why not check out the Jameson Barrelman’s Feast? A banquet of food, whiskey and entertainment in the home of Jameson Whiskey. A very cool outting in the centre of the city.
Price €49.50 pp
Check out more details on the website.

Dublin – Cocktail Festival
The Dublin cocktail festival concludes on the 17th but don’t worry deals are still to be had all across the city! ou can get involved by hitting any of the participating venues and purchasing a €5 wristband that will work in all venues for the whole week of the festival. The wristband will get you a 30% on the special festival cocktail that they’re rolling out. To see the delicious drinks the venues are all doing, check out www.greatirishbeverages.com


Sunday 18th

Ireland – O’Brien’s Wine
Sit back and relax. Feet up, by the fire and enjoy one of the great Irish whiskeys that O’Brien’s wine still have on sale! Get there before they’re gone!

Keep an eye out next week for another instalment of What’s On Weekly! If you think anything should be included in our weekly round up feel free to get in touch!

What’s on Weekly

What’s on Weekly is a weekly round up of the whiskey and cocktail events and promotions that are happening across the island of Ireland this week! Daily break down of the specialised events and promotions across the pubs, distilleries and off-licences around Ireland!

Monday – 28th 

Cork – Folkhouse Kinsale Tullamore 1791
Seriously exciting opportunity to those in the Cork area! The Folkhouse are showcasing a
late 60’s/early 70’s bottle of Tullamore DEW for just €6.00 a measure! Coming from the John’s Lane Distillery it bears the distillery’s 1791 date of establishment. This is a very rare opportunity to sample a very rare whiskey at an affordable price!

Check them out on Facebook and Twitter

Galway – An Púcán
A very cool whiskey bar with a equally cool beer garden in the heart of Galway city. They are a mecca for whiskey, cocktails and food in the city.
They are offering 20% off all cocktails Sunday to Thursday all week so get in and don’t miss out! P.S. The whiskey sour is whopper!

Check them out on Facebook & Twitter for more!

Tuesday – 29th

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Whisk(e)y Class & Tasting with Fionnán O’Connor.
Delve into the world of whisk(e)y with Fionnán. This week’s class focuses on the different types of Mashbills that are used in the production of whisk(e)y around the world. This is gearing up to be a very diverse line up with some real gems. Definitely an event not to miss!

Tickets are €18 available from The Dingle Whiskey Bar on Nassau Street.
Check them out on Facebook & Twitter for more info!

Galway – An Púcán
Rugby World Cup Competition! In the Rugby World Cup there are 20 teams competing and An Púcán’s impressive whiskey selection boasts a selection of whiskey from 10 of the competing countries. If you can correctly guess all 10 countries that An Púcán have whiskey from you could win a World Whiskey Platter and a meal for two in An Púcán during Sunday’s Ireland vs Italy game!
To enter just click here!

Wednesday – 30th

Cork – COQBULL
5 French Church Street, Cork
The Cork chapter of the Irish Whiskey Society are proud to announce a whiskey tasting
to beat all whiskey tastings. On the night we will be tasting not one, but five of some of the rarest and finest whiskey’s available in Ireland today:

  • Midleton Rare 2015
  • Irishman Cask Strength 2011
  • Teeling 21 Year Old Limited Edition
  • Connemara 22 Year Old
  • Bushmills 21 Year Old

This is a seriously cool tasting in the southern capital. Make sure not to miss it if you are in the area! The committee from Cork will be leading the tasting. The committee boast years of on trade experience, encyclopaedic whiskey knowledge and even have a distiller from Midleton. Seriously cool line up from some seriously cool guys. Check out the full details on the Irish Whiskey Society’s website here.

Dublin – Liquor Rooms
Cocktails and Architecture at the Liquor Rooms. The Liquor Rooms are sharing the love for architecture with cocktails for thisCocktails+Architecture cool cross over event between the drinks industry and the world of architecture. The night will feature talks on how the Irish drinks industry and architecture have collided. For the first time this year, they are going international with their speakers, George Boyle architect of The Teeling Distillery and Harry Parr from Bompas & Parr, London will give talks on the evening. Free samples, a free cocktail and Propercorn will be on hand to fill the bellies.

The Cocktails+Design talk series at the Liquor Rooms celebrates the partnerships between the drinks industry and design. Cocktails+Design is supported by Irish Design 2015 in collaboration with IDI Design Social and Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI).

This event is free to attend and open to all. Doors open at 5pm with talks beginning at 7pm. Tickets available here.

Thursday – 1st

Galway – An Púcán https---img.evbuc.com-https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F15449504%2F138888669449%2F1%2Foriginal
The Galway Whiskey Trail and An Púcán are hosting a very special free Bushmills tasting event in the bar from 6.30pm! A great introduction into how single malts in Ireland are produced! Sadly with amazing events like these they sell out fast and this is no exception! Sold out instantly but keep an eye out for any last minute tickets going spare on the Púcán facebook page!

Friday – 2nd 

Dublin – Irish Whiskey Museum

Check out the Irish Whiskey Museum Dublin’s very own whiskey museum! A unique experience in the city centre, over looking the gates to Trinity College. Pop in for a journey through time, where this fantastic museum unveils the intriguing tale of Irish whiskey, from its humble beginnings, its rise to glory, dramatic downfall and of course its current revival. Boasting some of the latest running tours in the city until 8pm! After work/weekend tipple anybody?
Check them out on Facebook or Twitter or their Website for details.

Saturday – 3rd 

Dublin – Old Jameson Distillery
Looking for something different to do this weekend? Why not check out the Jameson Barrelman’s Feast? A banquet of food, whiskey and entertainment in the home of Jameson Whiskey. A very cool outting in the centre of the city.
Price €49.50 pp
Check out more details on the website.

Sunday – 4th

Ireland – O’Briens Wine Off Licence
The bible says that Sunday’s are a day of rest and with all the activity throughout the week why not take a step back and have a quiet tipple at home? O’Briens Off-Licence are currently having a sale on Irish and Scottish whisk(e)y. Pick up a bottle of Glenlivet 12 for only €39 and have a nice tipple with the Sunday roast!

Keep an eye out next week for another instalment of What’s On Weekly! If you think anything should be included in our weekly round up feel free to get in touch!

Sláinte