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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

October 20, 2017


Three official Irish

Yes just three pretty new(ish) ones, I’m always late with my Irish, my bad…

Bushmills ‘Red Bush’ (40%, OB, Irish blend, +/-2017)

Bushmills ‘Red Bush’ (40%, OB, Irish blend, +/-2017) Two stars This wee baby spent three years in first fill bourbon, and contains 70% grain whiskey, I’ve been told by a charming rep. I was afraid it had seen some red wine after seeing the name, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Phew! Colour: gold. Nose: bizarre. Porridge and some crushed bananas, carbon paper and ink, stale ginger, oak ‘curry’… All that over a structure that’s really thin. So far. Mouth: more pleasant, fruitier, light, always with these small touches of curry and ginger, plus obvious notes of williams pears. Bags and bags of williams pears. The body’s not as thin as I had thought. Finish: medium, fruity, light, not weak. More pears, many more pears. Comments: very much acceptable, as they say. Not transcendental, and really ridden with pear notes. SGP:640 - 75 points.

Jameson ‘Distiller’s Safe’ (43%, OB, Irish blend, +/-2017)

Jameson ‘Distiller’s Safe’ (43%, OB, Irish blend, +/-2017) Two stars and a half More NAS. I find an NAS blend expensive at £50, whatever the story and the rationale. Colour: pale white wine. Nose: it’s nice that there’s not much oak influence, and rather some fresh fruits, from gooseberries to peaches. Tiny herbs and flowers as well, borage, dandelion… The whole’s light, and really very easy. Certainly more ‘natural’ than the Bushmills. Mouth: yes, it’s good, with notes of pot still whiskey, melons, surely some sweet barley, a little sugar syrup (cane), sugary apples, some sweet and sour beer, and more and more candy sugar. A drier syrup, in other words. Finish: rather short, with a little white pepper on top of all these sweet apples and syrups. Comments: really fair, with a pleasant Irishness. There is a pot still character, but just as the Bushmills, it rather lacks oomph for me. Can a spirit be both oily and thin? Discuss… SGP:630 - 78 points.

Method and Madness ‘Single Pot Still’ (46%, OB, Irish, +/-2017)

Method and Madness ‘Single Pot Still’ (46%, OB, Irish, +/-2017) Three stars There are several of these funny small-batch Midletons. What’s interesting here is that this baby was finished in French chestnut casks, which would be streng verboten in Scotland. Sadly, there’s chestnut, but there’s no age statement. Colour: gold. Nose: chestnut! I’m joking, I couldn’t detect the smell of chestnut wood, but it does have some kind of tarry woodiness, close to teak or even pinewood. That’s pretty nice, even if I would have rather said ‘Bourbon!’ As for the pot still character, it’s a bit buried underneath these nice woody tones. Turmeric and ginseng behind all that. Mouth: ouch! There’s absolutely nothing Irish in this, we’re close to some experimental Americans, with huge bready notes and an avalanche of spices, gingerbread, caraway, spicy bread, and even papadums covered with mango jam. Method, I don’t know, madness, for sure. Finish: long, thick, and very sweet and spicy. The wood keeps fighting. Some unexpected raspberry jam in the aftertaste. Comments: frankly, I would have expected this from Amrut – but I like Amrut better. Amrut is more ‘European’, if you see what I mean. So a totally un-terroir Irish… Having said that, I rather like this ‘new craft’ style. SGP:552 - 80 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Irish whiskies I've tasted so far






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