Thursday, May 27, 2021

Irish Off Piste

Another Zoom tasting!

Our May tasting took us to Ireland, and James took us 'off piste' by selecting a series of drams to confound our expectations of Irish whiskey.

We started in Waterford. Best known for crystal, the area's distillery has also got a burgeoning reputation for its obsession with the local terroir, including organically grown single farm barley.

Arcadian Gaia 1.1
We tasted the Arcadian Gaia 1.1. Floral and very aromatic, this tasted strong, harsh and young (take your pick), but not unpleasant. It was a thick, gloopy spirit with a meaty kind of aftertaste. You certainly know you've tasted it. It was a bit sweet as well. This bottle was 50% but was perhaps a bit on the expensive side at £77. It did taste like the price, though.

Method and Madness
Whiskey number two was the Cherry Wood from Method and Madness, a brand name attached to an experimental range of drinks from the Midleton distillery.

This was grassy on the nose. 'Purest green' as someone suggested. It doesn't taste like it smells though. It's certainly both cherry and woody, almost rotting wood or with a bit of a tea thing going on. The mouthfeel was spirity, reminiscent of grappa in fact. We thought this might work as a digestif. This got some positive noises dissipated a bit when we saw the price - 84 quid! A bit funky for some but others did enjoy it. It's 46%.

JJ Corry Flintlock

For the third dram it was something from JJ Corry, whiskey bonders who buy new make from various distilleries and age it themselves. The bottle we were trying was The Flintlock.

We got battenburg cake or marzipan on the nose. The taste came as a bit of a surprise, like fruity Vimto or something along those lines. Soft fruits all round. The finish was perhaps a bit of not very much, but overall we stuck with it and very much enjoyed it. We were trying smaller measures as it was just a 50cl bottle and that was plenty for some, but other members were keener on it, a real room divider. £95 for a small bottle seemed a bit steep though.

Kinahan's Kasc Project
Onto the fourth whiskey and it was something which offered somewhat better value from Kinahan's, in the form of their Kasc Project, which features casks made up of a hybrid of different woods.

This received some positive comments, in that it was perfectly pleasant if perhaps a bit straight down the line. We were trying batch 4 and it was noticeable (to me) how subtly different it was from batch 3, which I had half a bottle of downstairs and quickly grabbed for a bit of a back to back comparison. The best thing about this was probably the price, at just £32, lots of the club was surprised at how good it was at that low cost. It's 43%.

Two Stacks
We went to blenders Two Stacks next, for their Blenders Cut Barbados, a blend of five different whiskeys. They often can whiskey in small tins, but on this occasion we were drinking something which had come from a bottle.

This was another one which tasted strong straight off the bat, we thought either really harsh or simply a high ABV (it turned out to be the latter - 63.5%!). It stays tasted. People had this both with and without water really loved it either way. It's 89 quid.

Red Spot 15yo
We finished off the evening with something from Mitchell and Son. Best known for Green Spot, James told us this was something different.

Very pleasant, very nice, very sweet, were the consistent comments about this one. Tough to follow the heavy onslaught of the Two Stacks, and while many club members enjoyed this one, some thought it was a little boring in comparison to what had gone earlier. This was the Red Spot 15 year-old. Although good, we felt the timing of the drams held it back a touch and we might have got more out of it earlier in the evening. It's £120 and 46%.

Dram of the night was closely fought but it went to Two Stacks with 10 of the 30 votes cast. Whiskeys 1, 3 and 6 were all joint second, but all the drams had at least two supporters - the sign of a successful tasting!

Thank you to James for choosing the whiskeys and taking us through it, and to all members and guests for attending another great evening.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.