Google A few Irish for St Patrick

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

March 17, 2018


A few Irish for St. Patrick

I know, this is hardly imaginative, but there, it’s St. Jameso…, I mean, St. Pat’s today. Let’s see what we have… Please note that I noticed that it was St. Pat’s when waking up early this morning, and that I foolishly decided to do this for breakfast. Which I never, ever do, cross my heart! What's more, Angus seems to be in North Korea these days...

Kilbeggan (40%, OB, Irish, blend, +-2018)

Kilbeggan (40%, OB, Irish, blend, +-2018) Two stars
Not too sure about what’s now coming from the proper reopened Kilbeggan Distillery and what’s sourced elsewhere in this blend. An earlier expression had been pretty okay in my book back in 2011 (WF 76). Colour: light gold. Nose: moderately expressive, with some vanilla, a little sawdust, cereals, roated peanuts, touches of porridge… And rather fewer fruits than elsewhere. Mouth: fine, very light, brioche-y, with some vanilla, a few walnuts, a touch of toffee, and some barley syrup. Extremely gentle, I would say… Finish: very short, thus clean. Obviously. Ideas of overripe apples and always a little vanilla. Comments: pretty good and pretty harmless, I would say.
SGP:331 - 75 points.

Bushmills ‘Sherry Cask Reserve’ (40%, OB, Steamship Collection, Irish, single malt, +/-2017)

Bushmills ‘Sherry Cask Reserve’ (40%, OB, Steamship Collection, Irish, single malt, +/-2017) Three stars and a half
This one was triple-distilled and matured in first fill oloroso. Colour: gold. Nose: doesn’t nose like fulltime sherry ageing but that’s not bad news at all, as we’re clearly experiencing Bushmills’ tropical fruits in full swing. Mangos, bananas, Williams pears (hardly tropical, I know) and sultanas, and then a little coffee and tobacco. Very pleasant fruity nose. Mouth: shy arrival but it does then unfold on strawberries and mangos, with clear notes of grenadine syrup as well, Mon Chéri, and touches of toasted oak and tobacco in the background. It’s just a tad thin (may have deserved 3 more degrees alcohol) but the profile is impeccable. Finish: medium, with nice notes of rosehip tea and a little mint tea. Comments: so much better than the weakish ‘Red Bush’ that I tried last year, but that one was a blend while this is single malt.
SGP:640 - 84 points.

Glendalough 13 yo (46%, OB, Irish, single malt, Mizunara Oak Finish, +/-2017)

Glendalough 13 yo (46%, OB, Irish, single malt, Mizunara Oak Finish, +/-2017) Three stars and a half
Does using Japanese/Mongolian oak to finish some Irish (or Scotch for that matter) whisky make any sense? Reminds me of our own Alsatian Bolognese sauce. This is sourced whisky, obviously, as Glendalough was established in 2011. Can’t remember when they started distilling, though… Colour: gold. Nose: sweet herbal teas and ripe bananas and papayas, cassata, wee touches of copper (old samovar, right) and then a thin layer of argan and sesame oils, I supposed that’s the mizunara’s impact. Good news, that impact is rather moderate. Mouth: well, this is very good for sure. Nice ‘Bushmillsy’ tropical fruits, mangos and all that, plus even more argan oil, a feeling of halva or turron… And yet it keeps a pleasant toasty dryness. Finish: the oak feels a little more now, with some black tea and a little cocoa, but oranges are coming to the rescue in the aftertaste. Comments: I thought the regular ex-bourbon 13 yo was very good (WF 83) and I believe this funny Japanised one’s just as good.
SGP:641 - 83 points.

Method & Madness ‘Single Malt’ (46%, OB, Irish, bourbon barrels, +/-2017)

Method & Madness ‘Single Malt’ (46%, OB, Irish, bourbon barrels, +/-2017) Three stars
This one was ‘enhanced with French Limousin oak, so possibly Cognac wood. So, finished. I’ve seen it advertised as a 14 yo. This line belongs to Pernod-Ricard so it’s most probably Midleton juice. Colour: pale gold. Nose: really very nice, and once you’ve got Cognac in your head, you cannot not think of Cognac (well said, S.) Sunflower oil, vine peaches, vanilla, dandelions, pollen, plus a very wee toasted sourness that may come from that French oak. Some light pipe tobacco. Mouth: the oak feels a bit too much for me now, with some black tea tannins, cocoa powder, some ginger, juniper… I think it dominates the distillate a bit, while that distillate’s really lovely, as expected. Pink bananas, guavas, overripe apples, acacia honey… Plus quite some vanilla from the previous wood. Finish: medium, rather gritty and tea-ish indeed. Marzipan in the aftertaste. Comments: just a little less oak and this would have been much to my liking. Or they could have done it the Cognac way indeed, first that French oak, then the hogsheads or barrels for many years. But that would have needed much longer planning…
SGP:651 - 81 points.

Teeling ‘Brabazon Bottling 01’ (49.5%, OB, Irish, single malt, sherry, 12500 bottles, 2017)

Teeling ‘Brabazon Bottling 01’ (49.5%, OB, Irish, single malt, sherry, 12500 bottles, 2017) Three stars and a half
A newish NAS range by Teeling. Colour: pale gold. Nose: it’s rather discreet sherry, which the colour already suggested. Notes of espresso coffee and stewed rhubarb, some sultanas (PX?), ideas of brandy de Jerez, some prunes, and then rather dried dates. I’m finding this extremely pleasant. Mouth: a wee bit too sweet for me at first (ah, PX!) but the fruitiness is impeccable, with more stewed rhubarb, oranges, crushed bananas, pineapples, and a rather oily mouth feel. Indeed, impeccable despite the sweetness that’s bordering, well, sugariness. Finish: medium, creamy, with some icing sugar, cherry liqueur, Kahlùa and marshmallows. Comments: I think this sugar is a tad disturbing but other than that, what an excellent bottling!
SGP:741 - 83 points.

Teeling 27 yo (41.6%, OB, for Switzerland, Irish, single malt, rum cask, cask #658, 2017)

Teeling 27 yo (41.6%, OB, for Switzerland, Irish, single malt, rum cask, cask #658, 2017) Five stars
A rum cask? Let’s expect a proper fruit bomb… Colour: straw. Nose: you bet! Mangos, papayas, guavas, bananas, passion fruits, blood oranges… It’s a soft avalanche, shall we say. Nothing to add. Mouth: totally exceptional, an amazing fruit bomb indeed, but with many subtleties and twists and turns. Love this, please call the Irish Anti-Maltoporn Brigade, the number of the pub is +353 1 237 7… No, don’t! Finish: it’s even quite long at this humble strength. Superb fruitiness… Comments: sometimes you just don’t need novels.
SGP:741 - 92 points.

OK since we’ve just had some 27 yo Irish for Switzerland, let’s be logical and have another one…

Irish Single Malt Whiskey 27 yo 1990/2017 (47.1%, Acla da fans, Switzerland, Irish, single malt, barrel, 182 bottles)

Irish Single Malt Whiskey 27 yo 1990/2017 (47.1%, Acla da fans, Switzerland, Irish, single malt, barrel, 182 bottles) Five stars
Good company, good people, good whiskies. Colour: pale gold. Nose: we’re close to the other 27 but this is a little more on grassy oils, and probably a little less exuberant. There’s more barley as well, cereals (breakfast, I told you), and then indeed, bananas, mangos, passion fruits, but also ripe apples and pears. Some nectar, some vanilla. Mouth: oh yes extremely good. Tenser and more citrusy, with a large fruit salad, bananas, apples, lemons and grapefruits, a touch of tamarind, then notes of roasted nuts, a little maple syrup, a touch of fudge, mandarins, apricots… Finish: rather long, very fruity, oily, perfect. Comments: really perfect.
SGP:651 - 91 points.

I think breakfast is now over. Thank God this is the weekend… Oh just one thing, when you taste spirits early in the morning everything is bigger, so careful. For example, sweetness is sweeter, saltiness is saltier, and so on. So you have to adapt your scales, if you see what I mean. Unless, of course, if you always taste early in the morning, like they do in Ireland. Of course they don’t. Anyway, happy St. Patrick’s!

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Irish we've tasted so far






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