Since the world is attempting to weather out the current global pandemic indoors the home bar has become an important focal point in many households. As such, we wanted to take the time to talk about the whiskey that has stood head and shoulders above the competition, in the Potstilled home bar.
This will be a monthly feature, while the self isolation/quarentine/stay at home warnings are in effect, which means at the beginning of each month we will be recounting our favourite whiskey expressions of the month just gone. In this first instalment we recount our whiskey of the month for March 2020, ‘The Liberator Irish Whiskey’.
Seeing as we, here at Potstilled, have officially been working from home for over a month, we have had ample opportunity to peruse and sample the home whiskey collection and The Liberator has earned its place as my staple quarantine tipple for the month of March.
‘The Liberator’ is the inaugural release from the O’Connell family behind ‘Wayward Spirits’. This whiskey is one of Ireland’s first ever blended malt whiskeys, which has been crafted from a combination of two different malt whiskeys from two different distilleries. The blend is made up of 25% of a 13 year old Cooley single malt, with the remaining 75% being comprised of a 4 year old malt whiskey, from the Great Northern Distillery.
Having both started their lives in ex-bourbon barrels, these malt whiskeys were then married and vatted in an ex-tawny port barrel to be finished for a period of 9 months.
This port finished blended malt is bottled at 46% A.B.V. and is absolutely packed full of flavour but manages to deliver this myriad of flavour in an expertly balanced way, without one flavour aspect completely overpowering the other. There is a nice combination of both malt flavour as well as port cask influence.
This whiskey itself has a reddish tinged, honey amber, which has been imparted by the Port casks, as this whiskey has no caramel colouring added.
Potstilled Tasting Notes
Nose: This has an incredibly flavourful nose, full of juicy dark red berries, such as raspberries and cherries, with a zesty orchard fruits note, followed by cocoa powder, light peppery spices, vanilla and hints of almond at the back.
Palate: The palate opens with juicy dark fruits before the malt makes a strong appearance, tying together with toasted oak notes, dark chocolate and citrus pith which dries the palate significantly towards the end.
Finish: The finish is long, malty, mouthcoating with a light wood spice remaining on the tongue.
This is a bottle that I have very much enjoyed exploring my first foray into what blended malt Irish whiskeys may have in store for us in the near future. Without a doubt, we’ll be seeing a lot more of blended malts in the future.
The Liberator was only released at the tail end of February, in a limited numbered batch of just 700. It was only released in Ireland, at an RRP of €65 a bottle. It is available at leading suppliers, such as the Celtic Whiskey Shop, L. Mulligan’s Whiskey Shop, James Fox Cigar & Whiskey Store, Fine Wines Limerick, as well as Carryout Killarney.
Keep an eye out at the beginning of May when we will be revealing the Potstilled Quarantine Whiskey of the Month for April.
About Wayward Irish Spirits:
Wayward Irish Spirits is a new family owned Irish Whiskey company based at the stunning Lakeview Estate, Killarney, County Kerry. It reconnects the founder, Maurice O’Connell, with his family’s roots of supplying spirits to the gentry of Kerry. As early as 1450 the O’Connells were based at Ballycarbery Castle near Caherciveen, importing wines and brandies from Spain. The imposition of excise duty in 1661 didn’t stop them and they moved up the coast to Derrynane and grew the business there. By 1820, Maurice ‘Hunting Cap’ O’Connell had a fleet of 8 ships smuggling luxury items in and shipping out salt, hides and young men seeking to escape the oppression of Catholics in their homeland. The name Wayward derives from the insult levelled at Daniel O’Connell by the British Prime Minister, Robert Peel, who called him ‘that wayward Irishman’. The family own the insult with pride.
The company has an unusual hybrid business model: part blender/bottler, part distiller.
The Liberator Irish Whiskey is its range of Whiskeys sourced from the best Irish distilleries that are finished and blended on the Estate in casks connecting with the O’Connell family history. Planned future expressions include a range of special single malt releases and blends in casks from France, Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean. The company is very particular about the quality and provenance of its finishing casks and spends a large amount of time and money on sourcing the best. Plans are underway to harvest Kerry rainwater to cut their whiskey in future.
Alongside this, they grow their own Barley on the Estate which is small batch malted and distilled for them into Pot Still spirit to their mash bill and specification externally. The 2018 crop was distilled last year and has returned to the Estate for maturation. From 2024 they will start distilling this part of their production onsite with the ambition to become Ireland’s most beautifully located Premium, Single Estate Grain to Glass Distillery. See website
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